The CEO of PayPal on Giving Credit

“This idea of the power of giving credit to others — as opposed to your own individual accomplishment — has shaped my entire career. Most people don’t really think about that. They mostly think, “Look at me.” But really if you say, “Look at what others are accomplishing,” it’s so much more powerful in terms of your ability to attract the best people, to get things done.” Dan Schulman CEO of PayPal in NY Times.


Weak leaders run around beating their chests when they should be patting others on the back. Successful leaders know the people they serve are the real heroes of the story. 

Leaders are better off making heroes than trying to be one themselves.

Leaders who bring out the best in others notice what others are accomplishing.

7 ways to be a hero-maker:

#1. Give freedom to people who have character, initiative, drive, and follow through. Be warned about those who say they want to do big things, but never follow through.

“Wanting” without action is lazy aspiration.

#2. Connect and then challenge.

Relationship is the foundation of hero-making. Connection is permission to challenge, “How might you challenge yourself?”

#3. Make space for strategic struggle, but don’t stand aloof.

Don’t quickly fix other people’s problems. People gain confidence when they hack through difficult situations.

  • Stay available to help.
  • Coach.
  • Don’t meddle.

#4. Make introductions and help people establish new connections. You strengthen others when you help them connect with other leaders.

#5. Make responsible failure safe. Ask, “What are you learning?” when people fail or fall short.

Make it safe to reach high if you expect excellence.

#6. Set high standards.

Heroism always reaches for extraordinary.

#7. Be a coach, not an answer-giver.

How might leaders practice the art of hero-making?