#247: Leadership Lessons Learned from Leading 250,000 People with John Donovan, Former CEO of AT&T Communications

By March 23, 2020Podcast

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John Donovan is the former CEO of AT&T Communications, a global telecommunications company serving millions of customers worldwide. John has decades of experience working in executive leadership roles, including as the Executive Vice President of Product, Sales, Marketing and Operations at Verisign Inc. and the Chairman and CEO of inCode Telecom Group Inc.

John joins me today to share the leadership lessons he has learned from leading over 250,000 people at AT&T. He shares his perspective on hard work, being committed to self-improvement, and why achieving success in your career is more than following a few simple steps like a recipe in a cookbook. He explains why he believes ‘your world is your mentor’ and the lessons you can learn from every person you encounter. He also shares the lessons he’s learned by creating a life plan, his perspective on achieving work-life balance, and how leaders can create and sustain great company cultures.

John Donovan AT&T

John Donovan AT&T


“You should never look to succeed alone or fail alone.” – John Donovan

Today on the L3 Leadership Podcast:

  • The challenges John faced throughout his career that set him apart and led to his success as an organization leader
  • Why John doesn’t believe there is a recipe for succeeding in life or business and his strategy for preparing for the next level of leadership
  • The difference between a mentor and a career advocate
  • John’s advice for aspiring and emerging leaders
  • The importance of being honest and authentic and the value of emotional maturity and knowing your core values as a leader
  • John’s morning routine and why he always tries to “own the morning”
  • The importance of taking career risks while you’re young and John’s perspective on work-life balance
  • Lessons John has learned regarding money and happiness
  • Cultivating a healthy mindset to manage the stress and pressure of being a leader


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