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Biz Sage: John D. Rockefeller on Leadership

“Good leadership consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.”

– John D. Rockefeller

We all admire those individuals who have a high IQ. But how important is it to hire highly intelligent people, and is having them around directly proportional to the success of a company? As any boss knows, smart people learn faster, making training them easier. But it is impossible to fill every job with a genius.

John D. Rockefeller, the first American billionaire, funded many colleges and universities. He knew that educational opportunities could make a difference to the average person in achieving success. His General Education Board, founded in 1902, eventually funded many colleges throughout the country, including the Ivy League.

A good leader needs to know how to motivate people to see beyond their abilities. New training and job-swapping programmes that expand duties and opportunities offer your employees a direct challenge. Even if an employee is not highly motivated, you can structure her job so what she is asked to accomplish is more than what is presently done. Once your employees see learning as a tool for earning, they’ll jump at the chance to participate in these programmes.