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I Want Her Job

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May 24, 2019

Esther Wojcicki is asked about parenting advice – sometimes over 10 times a day! In How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical, Esther shares the guiding principles she has used to raise her wildly successful daughters, as well as in her teaching of journalism to students at Palo Alto High School who affectionately call her Woj. Her parenting philosophy can be distilled into a combination of values and practices within an acronym called TRICK, which stands for trust, respect, independence, collaboration and kindness. In her book, Esther drills into each area, explaining why she believes each component to TRICK is critical. She also offers ideas for utilizing her TRICK philosophy with your children, and shares dozens of memorable stories.

There is no doubt the book will be a best seller since Esther has had such tremendous success as a mother and teacher. Each of Esther’s daughters have phenomenal career achievements. Daughter, Susan Wojcicki is the CEO of YouTube; Janet Wojcicki is a professor of pediatrics at University of California, San Francisco; and Anne Wojcicki, is the founder and CEO of genetic testing company 23andMe. At the center of Silicon Valley for her entire career as an influential teacher, Esther also is a dedicated community member. With Google famously beginning its empire in daughter Susan’s garage, Esther has truly been surrounded by the tech revolution.

Hundreds of Esther’s students still keep in touch with her, and as her daughters say in the book’s foreword, they often meet former students who say, “You know, your mom really changed my life. She believed in me.” Esther has been nominated for national awards for her teaching and thousands of students who went through her program often consider the experience life changing – both for the work they did, and for the respect, autonomy and the bar set by Esther.

In addition to sharing her philosophy for raising independent, kind and community-oriented children, Esther’s book feels like a handbook for global citizenship. She firmly believes that kindness, finding ways to help others and the quality of our relationships are at the forefront of a happy life. 

In our conversation, Esther shares how tragedy and other intense difficulties  during her childhood influenced her parenting philosophy. We discuss why using TRICK with children and in schools leads to radical results and learn hands-on tactics for using TRICK in your family. Esther is a brilliant example of the impact one teacher can have, and the joy of living a life of purpose.

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