Jeff Sandefer

Jeff Sandefer – A Hero’s Journey

Jeff Sandefer – A Hero’s Journey

Jeff Sandefer lives a dual life as an entrepreneur and a Socratic Guide.

As an entrepreneur, he founded his first company at age 16 and went on to found or co-found seven successful businesses.

As a Socratic teacher at the University of Texas, Jeff’s students five times voted him the school’s Outstanding Teacher and Businessweek named him one of the top Entrepreneurship professors in America. Jeff went on to co-found the Acton School of Business, an MBA program perennially ranked by the Princeton Review among the best in the nation. In 2012 The Economist honored him as one of the top fifteen Business School professors in the world.

Jeff is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, where he served for over twenty years on the school’s governing committees. He was a longtime director of the Philanthropy Roundtable and National Review magazine and one of the youngest members ever elected to the Texas Business Hall of Fame.

Sandefer has worked with entrepreneur-teachers to build a nationally acclaimed entrepreneurship program, winning numerous teaching honors in the process. But ask him about success, and he makes it clear that money and awards aren’t what matter.

Key Takeaways:

00:09 What is your favorite thing about working with young learners?

00:47 What is Acton Academy?

02:23 Acton’s Origin Story

07:15 How prescriptive is Acton in terms of methodology and rules?

08:38 What makes a successful Acton Academy affiliate?

16:02 What do Acton Learners do after graduation?

20:05 Acton and Montessori

36:05 Metaphor on comparing Conventional School with Acton


“We want them (young learners) to be game-makers in their own lives, and we hope that they find that hero’s journey in life, that they find a calling that will change the world.”

“We are parents who wanted something better for our children.”

“You just can’t imagine what young people can do. And adults often underestimate that.”

“It’s whether our graduates need college at all. They can get into high-end colleges, but the question is, do they need to go?”

“It’s the growth mindset. Heroes never give up.”

Social Links:

Website –

Acton Academy –

Courage to Grow by Laura Sandefer