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Interview: How Vint Cerf Leads With Strengths

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About the Leader

Vint Cerf

Vint Cerf Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google

  • Futuristic®
  • Input®
  • Communication®
  • Strategic®
  • Analytical®

“Leadership is about recognizing when you’re not right and changing your mind.'”


"I pride myself on my willingness to be patient and persistent."

Whether it’s developing the internet itself or working on the interplanetary internet system, Cerf dedicates himself to noteworthy projects that take a considerable amount of time to come to fruition. He’s comfortable with the time it takes for projects to develop.


“If you can’t communicate your ideas well, you won’t get any help and you won’t do anything big.”

Cerf recognizes the necessity of getting help on important projects. He knows that the only way to complete big projects is to communicate his vision and enthusiasm clearly and convincingly.


"When I’m trying to deeply understand something, I often ask [people] to draw me a picture."

Although he’s inundated with information, articles and videos, Cerf often finds the best way to genuinely understand a complex system is to have it expressed visually as a diagram. This, he says, is a result of his Input talent.


"Being able to tease apart evidence that the data is wrong is really valuable."

While his field requires him to feel comfortable with almost never having enough data, Cerf gives special attention to discovering whether the data he has is inaccurate. He regularly finds himself saying, “You know what, there’s something wrong with this computation."