ON LEADING PODCAST • Episode #19 • March 27, 2024

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Episode #19

Sara Holoubek

On Finding True North

By Lori Brewer Collins

In the dynamic landscape of technology and innovation, leaders often emerge as guiding lights, steering their organizations toward success with a blend of foresight, creativity, and determination. Among these standouts is Sara Holoubek, a visionary entrepreneur and strategist whose leadership at Luminary Labs has reshaped the landscape. With a profound commitment to addressing the thorny problems that matter, Holoubek has established herself as a pioneering figure in the intersection of technology, business, and social change.

Luminary Labs, founded by Holoubek in 2009, has emerged as a prominent strategy and innovation consultancy.  Under her guidance, the company helps government agencies, nonprofit foundations, and Fortune 500 companies place big bets and launch groundbreaking programs. With a diverse portfolio spanning four focus areas — the future of health, the future of work and education, scientific discovery, and infrastructure —  Luminary Labs has earned recognition for its innovative approaches to addressing some of society’s most pressing challenges.

At the heart of Holoubek’s leadership philosophy lies a steadfast belief in the power of collaboration and interdisciplinary thinking. She fosters a culture of curiosity and experimentation within her team, encouraging them to explore new ideas and embrace unconventional solutions. This approach has enabled Luminary Labs to stay at the forefront of innovation, constantly pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo.

Beyond her role at Luminary Labs, Holoubek is deeply committed to fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing within the broader innovation ecosystem. She serves as a board director, angel investor, mentor, advisor, and speaker at various industry events, sharing her insights and experiences with aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals alike. Through her advocacy for diversity and inclusion, she strives to create a more equitable and accessible environment.

In recognition of her achievements, Sara Holoubek has received numerous accolades and awards throughout her career. She has been featured in publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and Fast Company, cementing her reputation as a thought leader. Yet, despite her many accomplishments, she remains humble and grounded, always seeking new ways to make a meaningful impact on the world around her.

As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, the need for visionary leaders like Sara Holoubek has never been greater. Through her pioneering work at Luminary Labs and beyond, she exemplifies the transformative potential of innovation when guided by a strong sense of purpose and ethical responsibility. With her unwavering dedication to creating a brighter future for all, she inspires us to dream big and strive for excellence in everything we do.

Key Moments

  • Being a good ancestor to your company. It’s one thing to build a company, and it’s another to build one that’s self-sustaining for 15 years. And what do the 15 years look like after that? What do I need to do now to help this thrive beyond my lifetime?
  • Totally honest & totally kind. This is a way of being that works. These concepts are not mutually exclusive. Honoring this value automatically provides a foundation of “I see you, and I’m saying this to you because I care.”
  • We can’t avoid pain in life, but we can avoid suffering. Part of being human is experiencing trauma.

Sara Holoubek

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