I’m not going to say I improved on the guy who led the Normandy invasion, led Columbia University as its president, or led the United States as its President, but I did accidentally improve on a quote of his.
For years I’ve described part of the leadership I teach by quoting Eisenhower as having described leadership as
getting the other guy to do your thing for his reason.
He lived when people used masculine for gender-neutral. I elaborate on my technique that to know the other person’s reasons requires listening and before listening, asking, and before asking, behaving and communicating in ways the other person feels comfortable sharing what motivates them. Usually people protect what motivates them since sharing makes them vulnerable. We’ve all been laughed at, judged, picked on, manipulated, and so on. Others knowing what we care about opens us to those things.
I’m writing my next book and wanted to use the quote so I looked it up to quote him exactly. I found several instances of
Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.
Leadership is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.
Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.
But nothing for “your thing for his reason” or “your thing for their reason“. I prefer shorter quotes to wordier. Might I have improved on his quote accidentally? As far as I can tell I have. Until someone finds an earlier source for my version, I’m sticking with it and calling it mine:
Leadership is the art of getting them to do your thing for their reason.
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