Jim Quigley on Entitlement Thinking

This is the last installment of my fascinating interview with James Quigley, CEO of Deloitte, the largest professional services organization in the world.


The advice Jim Quigley, most frequently shares concerns hard work. He said he enjoys explaining the difference between, “entitlement thinking and opportunity seeking.”

Although embarrassing to me now, when I accepted the opportunity for my first move to New York City to join the Research Department at Deloitte, I was 26 years old, and I went there with an attitude something like this: I am Jim Quigley from Salt Lake City, I have a strong academic record, my clients have tried to recruit me, and I have decided to stay with Deloitte – give me a great experience. Bring it into my office on a silver platter.

And then we had a department “Black Friday” meeting. Mike Sutton, the department manager, said that some of the managers in the department did not understand what a unique opportunity we had been given and if we did not adopt a more constructive attitude, we would miss a tremendous opportunity.

On the train back home that night I reflected on what Mike said and realized that if I was going to have a great experience, it would be because I decided to go and get it. No one was going to hand it to me on a silver platter.

Jim became the number one rated manager out of the 57 managers in Deloitte’s National Office. “Chasing that entitlement attitude out of my head at age 27, created momentum for my career.”

Eight Bonus Insights:

  1. “If I had only one lever to move Deloitte it would be leadership.”
  2. “Things that matter can be measured.”
  3. “Most importantly, select and enable a team with values.”
  4. “E.Q. is more important than I.Q.”
  5. “Respect people.”
  6. “Create environments that bring out the best.”
  7. “Bringing people together is a timeless leadership challenge.”
  8. “Life is filled with opportunities, not entitlements.”


How did you move from entitlement thinking to opportunity seeking?

Which of Jim’s seven insights do you find most helpful?


Other posts from my interview with Jim Quigley:

The CEO of Deloitte Learns Respect his Dad

Public Speaking Tips from the CEO of Deloitte

On Amazon

Read my review of Jim’s book, “As One: Individual Action, Collective Power

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