‘How to Raise Successful People’ by Esther Wojcicki

How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results is a new book by American journalist and educator Esther Wojcicki, who has the evidence to back up her advice: Her three daughters are the CEO of YouTube, the CEO of 23andMe, and a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology, respectively.

How can any parent raise such a successful trio of children? What’s the secret formula?

In her book, Wojcicki offers essential lessons on helping your kids reach their highest potential — and even more importantly, to be confident, caring, capable people. From the description (bold emphasis mine):

Esther Wojcicki—“Woj” to her many friends and admirers—is famous for three things: teaching a high school class that has changed the lives of thousands of kids, inspiring Silicon Valley legends like Steve Jobs, and raising three daughters who have each become famously successful. What do these three accomplishments have in common? They’re the result of TRICK, Woj’s secret to raising successful people: Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, and Kindness. Simple lessons, but the results are radical.

Wojcicki’s methods are the opposite of helicopter parenting. As we face an epidemic of parental anxiety, Woj is here to say: relax. Talk to infants as if they are adults. Allow teenagers to pick projects that relate to the real world and their own passions, and let them figure out how to complete them. Above all, let your child lead.

In an excerpt from the book, Wojcicki explains how her gut feelings on parenting and educating stemmed from a lifelong distrust of authority and not letting anyone’s “fancy title” get in the way of discovering truth:

Watching my daughters navigate the world with grit and integrity has been one of the greatest rewards of my life. I’m especially impressed by how they compete and cooperate, focusing not on being the only woman in the room, but on finding solutions to the problems we face.


I found I’d started a debate about how we should be raising our kids and how to make education both relevant and useful. What I’m offering, and what has struck a chord with so many people across the world, is an antidote to our parenting and teaching problems, a way to fight against the anxiety, discipline problems, power struggles, peer pressure and fear of technology that cloud our judgment and harm our children.

As she puts so eloquently, “The more you do for your kids, the less they do for themselves, and the less empowered they feel.”

Get the book in these formats:

If you like this book, you’ll appreciate TIME’s article on so-called “superfamilies”, which features the Wojcicki sisters alongside a bunch of other siblings who’ve gone on to great success.