You shouldn’t give feedback unless you want to change someone’s life.

That’s an audacious goal, and it’s probably unattainable. But feedback is tough. Not everybody is meant to deliver messages. If you start out with the purpose of intent of making someone’s life better, your petty attachments and issues fade away. You can focus on a story that is bigger than you.

Also, you shouldn’t be a leader unless you want to change someone’s life. You may think that’s impractical. Modern corporations are built so that the only way you get promoted and earn more money is through leadership. If you’re not a VP-of-something, you’re poor and you don’t have stock options.

In some companies, that’s true. But if you’re not focused on changing someone’s life, you probably aren’t very good at your job. Or maybe you’re good enough, for now, but not good enough in the long run. Because real leadership means making an emotional connection to people you don’t know and promising them that they’ll get something out of their exchange with you other than more work.

And, in the midst of March Madness, it’s especially true that you shouldn’t be a coach if you don’t want to change lives. Basketball coach, life coach, financial coach, or even just a coach on a kids football team. You can’t coach someone if you’re not obsessed with making that person’s life better.

Coaching isn’t about you and your bright ideas. It’s about having a plan, sure, but that plan can’t be rooted in your ego. In fact, you have to remove your ego entirely. Because if your client fails — and they will fail, we can plan for it — you need the strength and determination to motivate them, and yourself, to try again.

Feedback, leadership, and coaching are intrinsically linked by one core message: don’t bother if you’re not relentlessly passionate about changing someone else’s life. If you’re in it for yourself, or because it’s a default position on an organization chart, your journey is over before it begins.


  1. This looks like it was written by someone who appears to confuse “life” with “work”. The latter should only ever be a means to improve the former, and there has to be a firewall between the two – unless you are one of those people whose work IS their life. Leaders are the last people you want changing your life. They inevitably change it for the worse…

    • Keith,
      I think that there are indeed some leaders who would inevitable change your life for the worse. And, there are many leaders who change it for the better.

      I think the point the Laurie was trying to make was that life is work, and work is life. The principals that it take to be successful in your personal life are aligned with those it takes to be successful.

      I have learned things from my leaders that have helped me be more organized, dedicated, loyal, and caring. Leaders who would teach you otherwise are not worth your time. They will corrupt your life if you choose to let them.

      You can try and be the kind of leader that will change peopels’ LIVES for the better. That’s what I strive for.

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