Only Fools Never Change

roller coaster

I worked for a boss who greedily grabbed the good projects and gave garbage jobs to others. She was a real go-getter who came in early and stayed late. I learned she was:

  1. Looking out for number one. It was all about her, even when she was being helpful.
  2. Distrustful. Her distrust made others reluctant to take risks.
  3. Fearful. Disagreements were always taken personally.
  4. Manipulative and easily manipulated by office gossips. Her fear that something bad might get to her boss created paranoia.

She knew how to get the job done so the boss kept her around, even though the office, for the most part, despised her.

The trouble with greedy go-getters is they get the job done.


The leadership journey is dotted with switchbacks and profound shifts in thinking. Growing leaders think one way at the beginning and another at the end.

Wise leaders say, “I used to think…, but now I realize…”

Only fools never change.

Switchbacks in leadership thinking:

  1. Finding solutions to finding problems.
  2. Spotlighting self to spotlighting others.
  3. Making statements to asking questions.
  4. Heads down to heads up; from small picture to big.
  5. Enjoying credit for self to giving credit to others.

Bob Burg explains a counter intuitive leadership-switchback in his book, “The Go-Giver.”

Fundamental shift:

Focus on giving more than getting.

Go-getters do well. Go-givers do better! Great leaders are go-getters when it comes to giving. The first law of the go-getters is the law of value:

Your true worth is determined by how much more
you give in value than you take in payment.

The last law protects go-giving from martyrdom.

The key to effective giving is
to stay open to receiving.

Jack Welch said, “Great leaders have a generosity gene.”

What shifts in thinking have you had on your leadership journey?

Bonus material: PDF of all Five Laws of the Go-Giver.

Buy: “The Go-Giver.”