(2 minute read)

“Greatness is not intelligence. Greatness comes from character, and character isn’t formed out of smart people. It’s formed out of people who suffered.”

Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia

As founder of computer chip company Nvidia in 1993, Jensen Huang has built his company into one of the most successful – and profitable – in the world. Feeding the world’s insatiable demand for computer chips (thanks to a recent boom in AI) has made Huang a multi-billionaire and built his company’s value to more than $2 trillion!

Earlier this month, Jensen Huang spoke to students at Stanford University, and identified the secret ingredient for success – Resilience.

The link between expectations and resilience.

Huang may be considered ‘old school’ in his thinking, yet he has some messages that bridge generations, including “people with very high expectations have very low resilience because they are not accustomed to, or prepared for, failure. Resilience matters in success,” he said. “I don’t know how to teach it to you, except that I hope suffering happens to you.”


Huang shares the need for building a ‘tolerance for failure’. An acceptance that your plans may not come to fruition. Despite this, there are always learnings to come from these forays into the unknown. Learning from these, and becoming better and stronger as a result, should become an accepted part of your progression plan.

“Unless you have a tolerance for failure, you will never experiment, and if you don’t ever experiment, you will never innovate,” Huang states. “If you don’t innovate, you don’t succeed.”

Huang’s messaging reinforces the need to let go of some of the beliefs and behaviours which may be hindering our development, and be willing to embrace change and the associated risk it entails.


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