Village Global Podcast

Encore Episode: John Donahoe’s Lessons on Leadership and Being a Better CEO

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This encore episode is a recording of a special masterclass roundtable session for our founders with John Donahoe. John is CEO of Nike and was previously CEO of ServiceNow and eBay. He is known as one of the most inspirational leaders in Silicon Valley and is a highly sought-after mentor to CEOs including Brian Chesky at Airbnb, Drew Houston at Dropbox, and Ben Silbermann at Pinterest. We’re honored to have him among our small group of world-class executives and collaborators whose time and expertise help power our network of founders at Village Global.
He shared advice on when to hire ahead, invest in and train, or replace personnel on your team and gave insight into his most common piece of advice on professional growth when advising CEOs.
Quotes From This Episode
“When you talk about priorities at an aspirational level, they overlap a lot. People start realizing we’re more similar than we’re dissimilar.”
“Adversity never feels fun. I don’t seek adversity. But I’m no longer scared of adversity. When it emerges, instead of trying to run from it, I now accept that it is a reality and I say, ‘well, at least I’m going to learn and grow.'”
“My experience has been that around any issue that involves change, you have roughly 20-25% of people who want to be part of it, no matter what the topic is, you have 25-30% of people who want to fight it, and you have the 50% of people in the middle saying ‘which side is going to win?'”
“[When someone is let go] The fear is humiliation usually. That’s almost a bigger fear than actually leaving the company.”
“We’re never as good or as bad as labels make us out to be.”
“I would say in general, for every 10 hours of business development conversations, 8 of them are a waste.”
“I do gratitude practice driving into work every morning. It’s proven in brain science that your brain becomes more negative over time. But it’s also been proven in brain science that you can counteract that.”
“The older I get, the more I’ve made friends with uncertainty. I don’t avoid uncertainty. Uncertainty is as present to me today as it was before but I’m a little more comfortable with it today.”
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