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A Note on Leadership

Occasionally I come across a quotation that just resonates. Here’s an example, from the Department of “I’ll Have What He’s Having.”

Q. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about leadership through the years?

A. You can’t change people. As a leader, there’s a real temptation to try to change people or help people get to where you want them to go. And I learned, actually through experience, that you can’t change someone. All you can do is help them help themselves.

And so I spend a lot less time than I used to trying to make people do something that either they can’t do, or don’t want to do, and spend more time illuminating what needs to get done. And if they make the choice to do it, great. If not, get them into a role where they can do what they’re good at.

That’s John Donahoe, president and CEO of eBay, talking to the New York Times recently.

1 thought on “A Note on Leadership”

  1. That not everyone wants to be the leader, but everyone wants to have a say in decisions that affect them. Many of your best employees are very content in not stepping up into a leadership role. Only a few are willing to, as they say “stick their heads above the rocks.” But everyone would like representation with the bigger decisions. This is what the United States was founded on. A great Leadership training company that I found is Magnovo Training Group. You can find them at

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