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Don’t waste energy if they won’t change

by on
in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Leadership guru Marshall Goldsmith’s mother taught first grade in Kentucky. In her mind, everybody was a first-grader. Whenever Goldsmith’s father made a grammatical error, she would dish out a stern look and snap: “Bill! Bill!”

One day, when Goldsmith’s mother started in with the grammar lesson, he heard his father sigh, then retort:  “Honey, I’m 80 years old. Let it go!”

That stuck with Goldsmith, who now preaches that you can’t make people change if they’re not interested in changing. You will waste plenty of time and accomplish exactly zero by trying to make employees do something they don’t want to do. Let it go. And let them go.

Yes, good employees should disagree with you from time to time. But retain only those good people who are committed to personal improvement. Trying to coach people who don’t care just steals time from helping people who do.

— Adapted from “If They Don’t Care, Don’t Waste Your Time,” Marshall Goldsmith, Fast Company.

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