Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is one of my favorite leadership thinkers.
His work with over 150 top CEO’s is indeed a testament to his expertise. I was delighted to feature a review of his brilliant newly published book, Triggers: Creating Behavior that Lasts – Becoming the Person You Want to Be, which is a Wall Street Journal and New York Time 1 Bestseller. Marshall has been recognized by Thinkers 50 as one of the Top Ten Business Thinkers in the World and by Harvard Business Review as the 1 Leadership Thinker in the World, which is phenomenal don’t you think? So today I am really excited to share my great Q & A with Dr Goldsmith with you! So soak up these words of wisdom!
1. Your mission is to help successful leaders become more successful. For you personally, what are the top 3 results or outcomes which mean success?
- My first outcome is to help the leaders that I coach achieve positive, measurable, lasting change in behavior – not as judged by themselves, but as judged by their key stakeholders. In other words, I help very successful leaders get closer to becoming the leaders that they want to be as viewed by the most important people in their lives.
- My second outcome is to help leaders become great coaches. By doing this, not only do the leaders become more effective, they help their staff members become more effective.
- My third outcome is to help leaders build their management teams – and increase team effectiveness
This is pretty much all that I do in my role as a coach!
2. You’ve had the ultimate and completely enviable coaching experience being able to work with the top 150 CEO’s, what have you found is the most common attribute or skill which has propelled them to be at the top?
I am not an expert on all facets of leadership. For example, I am not an expert on strategy or innovation. In terms of leading people, the leaders who do succeed in achieving positive lasting change demonstrate three common attributes:
- They have the courage to ‘look in mirror’ and see themselves as others see them.
- They have the humility to admit to their mistakes and ask for help.
- They have the discipline to ‘stick with it’ and actually do the work required for achieving positive, lasting change.
3. What do you think Leaders struggle with most, and what can they do about it?
The leaders that I meet are generally ‘buried’ with requests for their time and energy. It is very difficult for them to invest their time and energy in a developmental process that will help them in the future, when they are already over-committed in the present.
4. Who is the most inspirational person you have met, or know of, and what makes them inspirational to you?
The two most inspirational leaders that have changed my life are:
- Frances Hesselbein – The former CEO of the Girl Scouts of America. Peter Drucker said that Frances was the greatest executive that he had ever met. I had the honor of going with her to the White House when she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest award that can be given to a US civilian.
- Alan Mulally – The former CEO of Ford and Boeing Commercial Aircraft. Alan has been recognized as the CEO of the Year in the US and 3 Greatest Leader in the World (Fortune 2014). He was the leader of the greatest corporate turnaround of this century.
Both Alan and Frances are role models for integrity, treating people with respect and servant leadership. Although in theory, I was their coach, I have learned so much more from them than they have learned from me! I talk about both Frances and Alan in Triggers.
5. Your new book Triggers is so pertinent for me personally, and I am sure it will resonate with many others who are interested in “becoming the person they want to be” What inspired you to write Triggers?
Triggers is my third New York Times bestseller. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There focused on interpersonal behavior – building great relationships with other important people. MOJO is more intrapersonal – analyzing with was we view ourselves. Triggers is focused on the external world around us, how we create the world and, at the same time, the world is creating us.
6. So far you’ve written or been involved in publishing some 35 books which is phenomenal, what is next for you?
My next big project is the development of a video-based course that incorporates everything I have learned in over 35 years as an executive coach.
7. How can our readers benefit most from your work, and how can they best engage with you?
I give away almost all of my intellectual property. Your readers can visit www.MarshallGoldsmith.com and go to my ‘free resources’ section. Hundreds of my articles, interviews and videos are available online at no charge. My Thinkers 50 video series can also be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/user/marshallgoldsmith. I love my work as a speaker and as a teacher. I am completely booked for the next six months. If any of your readers would like to work with me in 2016, they can send me an email, Marshall@MarshallGoldsmith.com or call my office at +1-858-759-0950.
Read our great new article from Marshall, where he reveals his brilliant Daily Question Process
I would like to share a process that I use almost every day. It is incredibly practical and efficient! I find that it does a wonderful job of keeping what is most important to me ‘in my head’. I am amazed at how well it works!”