Continuing Lecturer | Senior Fellow
Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Advisor and speaker on entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership and strategy; Wall Street Journal bestselling author
John Danner is a bestselling author, faculty member at two of the world’s finest universities, popular public speaker, experienced executive, and advisor to global enterprises, government agencies and emerging ventures. His work as a management consultant, entrepreneur, lawyer and public official has centered on helping organizations deal with the leadership, strategy and innovation challenges and opportunities of unprecedented change.
He is the co-author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Built for Growth: How Builder Personality Shapes Your Business, Your Team, and Your Ability to Win (Harvard Business Review Press, 2017), about the personality characteristics of highly successful entrepreneurs; as well as the Amazon bestseller, The Other ‘F’ Word: How Smart Leaders, Teams, and Entrepreneurs Put Failure to Work (John Wiley & Sons, 2015), about strategies to leverage failure as a strategic resource. His articles and interviews have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Entrepreneur, Inc., Forbes, The Economist, Chief Executive and many other US and global media channels.
As a member of the professional faculties at the University of California Berkeley and Princeton University, he teaches executives, graduate and undergraduate students from around the world; and has launched popular campus-wide courses on both campuses. He also anchors and contributes to a number of executive education programs on leadership, strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship for several other prominent organizations in various locations globally – at UC Berkeley, Yale, the Aspen Institute and other US and international organizations.
Expertise and Research Interests
- Growth and Employee Engagement
- Innovation and Organizational Change
- Leadership Styles
- Failure as a Resource
- Team Performance
- John Danner and Chris Kuenne. Built for Growth: How Builder Personality Shapes Your Business, Your Team, and Your Ability to Win. Harvard Business Review Press.
A Wall Street Journal Bestseller Are You a Driver, an Explorer, a Crusader, or a Captain? Many factors shape the success or failure of a new business, whether it’s a stand-alone startup or a venture inside a larger corporation. But the most important and least understood of these factors is the personality of the entrepreneur, the particular combination of beliefs and preferences that drives his or her motivation, decision making, and leadership style. And your builder personality is the one resource you can directly control in growing a business that wins. Simply put, who you are shapes how you build for growth. Built for Growth decodes the interplay between builder personality and new business success. Using a patented analytic methodology, authors Chris Kuenne and John Danner discovered four distinct types of highly successful entrepreneurial personalities the Driver, the Explorer, the Crusader, and the Captain.
At Haas since 1999
1995 – present, Consultant, Berkeley Hills Associates, LLC
1999 – present, Lecturer (Continuing), The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, and Senior Fellow, Haas School of Business
2000 – present, Keynote Speaker, 21C3, Inc.
- Visiting Faculty Member, Princeton
- How to Inspire Entrepreneurial Thinking in Your Students, Harvard Business Publishing Education, 03/04/2022
- The Market Minute: How Long Do Startup Founders Lead Their Companies?, Crunchbase, 12/03/2021
- Meet 12 power players on new IBM CEO Arvind Krishna’s team as he navigates the toughest leadership transition in the tech giant’s history, Business Insider, 04/11/2020
- The new CEO of IBM just sent a welcome letter to employees, calling for a ‘maniacal focus’ on AI and hybrid cloud and a pragmatic approach: ‘This is about aiming for speed over elegance, Business Insider, 04/06/2020
- Activist hedge fund Elliott Management’s attack on Jack Dorsey is the first shot in brutal new reality for tech founder CEOs who have lost their protective halo, Business Insider, 03/05/2020
- Papa John’s founder will not ‘go quietly’ as company tries to push him away, The New York Times, 07/17/2018
- Full transcript: ‘Built for Growth’ authors John Danner and Chris Kuenne on Recode Decode, Recode, 08/16/2017
- Princeton to teach students about the upside of failure, The College Fix, 07/17/2017
- How Leaders’ Personalities Determine The Sorts Of Businesses They Build, Forbes, 06/26/2017
- Which Type of Entrepreneur Are You?, Harvard Business Review, 06/08/2017
- Business Model Innovation, MBA 295I
- Entrepreneurship Workshop for Start-ups, MBA295T
- Business Model Innovation, MBA 295A
- Entrepreneurship To Address Global Poverty, UGBA 196-1