Art by Jessica Villalobos

The Vision Pulls You

Why the most visionary people have the best learning partners

Peter Sims
4 min readNov 30, 2021

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Not long after publishing the book Little Bets, I got to know and work with Beth Comstock, the highly respected and visionary Chief Marketing Officer of G.E.. Her curiosity was voracious. She asked a few similar questions each time we met: What trends are you seeing? What’s interesting to you these days? Comstock was looking for interesting patterns and insights across different industries, including from early adopters.

I got to understand her approach even more as a member of an innovation advisory board she created at G.E., a group of half a dozen thought partners. Comstock, I soon discovered, had an elaborate informal network of dozens of ‘learning partners’ — from Hollywood mavens like Brian Grazer to technologists like Reid Hoffman and Vivienne Ming to entrepreneurs and social innovators in the grassroots of Detroit and Louisville.

The vast system of inputs explained how she oversaw the initial development of Hulu, became a top CMO of her generation (who Steve Jobs twice tried to recruit), then rose to become the first female Vice Chair of G.E., overseeing innovation.

This is how visionary leaders get fuel: they have the best learning partners.

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Peter Sims

Founder & Chairman, Black Sheep (BLK SHP); Investor; Author, BLACK SHEEP; LITTLE BETS & TRUE NORTH