Ambassador Randall L. Tobias

Our center’s namesake, Ambassador Randall L. Tobias, has served as a leader in business, education, philanthropy, and government for over 30 years. 

Born or Made?

“[C]ertainly leaders that are born can become better leaders, and people who might not expect to be leaders can develop leadership skills.”

Description of the video:

INTERVIEWER: So you provided me with the names of several individuals who could help me understand your career. And without attaching a name to this, I'm going to, to tell you one of the compliments of one of these people pay to you. I asked him, How do you account for success and so on. We were chatting along those lines and he said that he said he said he said You're a lot like Michael Jordan. He didn't say he had done to basketball. So we're going to go with this. But you said that that when it came to business leadership, he said You were born with tremendous talent and he worked really hard to cultivate that talent. And I think Michael Jordan did that and basketball. So not comparing it to him, but how much do you use? Do you think that your success and leadership is based on the tablet you were bored with it, or much of it is based on the effort that you put into cultivating that template?

RANDALL TOBIAS: I think that's a, that's a subject that can be debated forever and probably no one can ever come to a clear answer. I I guess what you're asking and what I can say is what my own opinion is about that more broadly than, than myself. And that is that I do think there are people who are born with some innate skills now how they, how they got there isn't genetic from there. Their parents and others in that way. Is it the influence that they've, they've had by all the people with whom they've been in contact all the time. And it was an all those things. I don't know, but but I do believe that there are things that I have done that I've done more instinctively and haven't really kind of known in a conscious way. Why did them, they just kinda seemed like the right thing to do. But at the same time, I've tried to learn from those experiences going forward. I have, I have concluded over time, and I think this is something that people in leadership positions need to conclude about themselves. Is that I've concluded than I do think about things sometimes differently than other people around me. So I'd go that far. But I think that's important as an aspect of leadership. Because leaders who, who have more difficulty communicating and inspiring are often troubled by the, the old saying that they don't suffer fools easily. And they have their own definition of fools. And a fool. Somebody is different than they are. And, and, you know, whether it's good or bad or, or in a leadership skill or not. I don't know. But, but I do know that there are ways that that have been easier for me to conclude that ought to be done about things that aren't, that don't seem to be what everybody jumps two. And so first of all, you have to kind of question yourself and say, Okay, what am I missing here and be sincere about it. Not where are they missing, but you know, what am I missing? And then, you know, it can convince yourself that the path forward is the right path forward and, and proceed.

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Leaders Are Readers

  • “I read a lot. I think there’s probably not a day that goes by that I don’t read.”

Books I Recommend

  • April 1865
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    Non-Fiction, History
  • The Deal of the Century
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