Larry Robertson is an Innovation Advisor and the Founder of Lighthouse Consulting. He has advised leaders in growth, strategy, adaptability, and innovation for more than three decades. He’s been described as a ‘big firm consulting brain, without all the worthless baggage.’ In 2021 Robertson was named a Fulbright Scholar, a rarity for non-academic professionals. He’s a former Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Robertson is also an award-winning author of three books: A Deliberate Pause, The Language of Man, and his newly released Rebel Leadership: How to Thrive in Uncertain Times.
Larry Robertson had an interesting childhood, while he frequently travelled with his family and even went to at least two different schools for each of the three levels of schooling, he says, “It may sound less than ideal – leaving homes, leaving friends, building a new life in each place, but in truth, the living and travelling to different places was a gift. It was a way to see the world through many different eyes, traditions, and ways of thinking. It was a steady reminder that we are all much the same, even while we are often vastly different from one another.” That view, alongside the profound importance of his family, shaped him in many ways into the extraordinary leader he currently is today.
While growing up, he was deeply influenced by his grandfather, who would often visit young Robertson. His grandfather was never idle; he always kept himself busy, and usually, what he chose to occupy himself with involved some form of invention or ingenuity. Robertson explained, “If, for example, his activity was to sweep the floor, he looked for some new way to sweep it more efficiently, playfully, or both.” He continued, “I couldn’t help but be drawn in, his curious mind, the joy he found in doing something in a new and better way, the ingenuity of the things he created out of scraps lying around the house, all were like catnip to me as a kid. And he was always happy to have me as a co creator – not a helper, not a watcher, but someone who he invited to jump all the way in with him as an equal.” This experience significantly shaped his perspective in life, making him one of this century’s most incredible innovation advisors.
As a kid, following in his grandfather’s footsteps, Robertson always had a job and was never idle; he worked for others throughout high school and had a side hustle while in college. Robertson says, “my life has always been a repeated cycle of learning and work, to the point the two fuse tightly together for me.”
After earning his degree from Stanford, Robertson got his first big job with an incredible salary package. However, he notes that his first big win was leaving this very job that he was excited about initially. He explains, “It was a win because, as attractive as the name of the company was from a prestige standpoint, and as appealing as the big salary was, I was conscious enough to recognize that it wasn’t the right job for me and bold enough to follow that insight and move on. Perks aside, I knew I would never grow in that job, and I knew my skills would be underutilized.”
Following his passion for helping people create an impact and maximizing who they are, Robertson began consulting on the side while he continued his search for a job that would be the right fit for him. An interview he attended soon became the turning point of his life. He recalled the life-changing incident, “I was in an interview telling someone about what I was doing in my consulting side jobs. As they listened to me, the person interviewing me for the job sat back in their chair, as if ‘exiting’ the interview and beginning to converse with me as a person. She began to smile at me. I stopped my description and asked why. She said, ‘Sounds to me like you’ve got the perfect job already.'”
Lighthouse Consulting was officially founded that day. The firm helps innovators, leaders, individuals and teams, anticipate and manage growth and uncertainty. Lighthouse blends deep knowledge in creativity, entrepreneurship, leadership, and strategy together to help clients get to the soul of who they are, what makes them powerful, and how to best aim those assets to achieve their goals. They then help them build a suitable environment and culture to turn it into reality.
The firm soon became a success, and Robertson found himself eager to share his knowledge. He then began his journey as a writer and currently has three best-selling books, A Deliberate Pause, The Language of Man and the most recent one, Rebel Leadership: How to Thrive in Uncertain Times. The latter was born out of the uncertainty of this pandemic season. He says, “While we all clearly understand that we live in a time of great uncertainty, too many of us are too quick to call this uncertainty Covid. The pandemic is just one form of the growing uncertainty we have all been facing – not only in the past two years, but over the past two decades.”
With this volatile and complex world changing rapidly, olds views on leaders and leadership and old ways of pursuing leadership simply no longer fit nor are effective. He continued, “‘Rebel Leadership’ is about exploring all of this and revealing what does work – not just theoretically, but what has been proven in actual practice and across sectors to work. It’s a book about how to thrive in uncertain times.” A must-read for leaders that reveals a unique approach to succeed in adversity and not merely survive.
In conclusion, he says, “Know your soul – in the context of ‘Rebel Leadership,’ soul is your identity, but specifically in the context of: what you do, and how what you do connects and impacts others. Repeatedly, across hundreds of interviews with some of the most creative people and best leaders on the planet, people call out soul as the most important asset they have had in their success and satisfaction in what they do.” Once you master your soul, your success will know no bounds.