Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith is a million-selling author or editor of 35 books including New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers.  He has been recognized as one of the top ten Most-Influential Business Thinkers in the World and the top-ranked executive coach at the 2013 biennial Thinkers50 ceremony in London.

 Enjoy watching his videos and reading his publications!

Featured Books

Featured Videos

Inspirational Mentors - Frances Hesselbein "A Model in Servant Leadership"
"A New Way to View Employee Engagement"

Featured Articles

Any human, in fact, any animal will tend to repeat behavior that is followed by positive reinforcement. The more successful we become, the more positive reinforcement we get – and the more likely we are to experience the success delusion.

I behave this way. I am successful. Therefore, I must be successful because I behave this way.

Wrong!

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Providing feedback has long been considered to be an essential skill for leaders. As they strive to achieve the goals of the organization, employees need to know how they are doing. They need to know if their performance is in line with what their leaders expect. They need to learn what they have done well and what they need to change. Traditionally, this information has been communicated in the form of “downward feedback” from leaders to their employees. Just as employees need feedback from leaders, leaders can benefit from feedback from their employees.

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My mission is to help successful leaders achieve positive, long-term, measurable change in behavior: for themselves, their people and their teams. When the steps in the coaching process described below are followed, leaders almost always experience positive behavioral change – not as judged by themselves, but as judged by pre-selected, key stakeholders. 

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As major organizations have to learn to deal with increasingly rapid change, teams are becoming more and more important. As the traditional, hierarchical school of leadership diminishes in signifi­cance, a new focus on networked team leadership is emerging to take its place. Leaders are finding themselves members of all kinds of teams, in­cluding virtual teams, autonomous teams, cross-functional teams, and action-learning teams.

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A review of research on goal-setting has helped us better understand two key areas of concern for leadership coaches:   1) Why people give up on goals and 2) How effective goal-setting can help ensure long-term goal achievement.  An understanding of the dynamics of goal-setting and goal achievement may help coaches understand why their clients sometimes lose motivation and how they, as advisors in goal-setting, can increase the odds that their clients will “stick with the plan” and reach desired targets.
Why do people so frequently give up in their quest for personal improvement?  Most of us understand that “New Year’s resolutions” seldom last through January – much less for the entire year!  What goes wrong? Six of the most important reasons that people give up on goals are listed below. 
 

This real life case study shows how an executive can expand a simple coaching assignment to benefit his team and the entire company. I hope the article also reinforces my observation that the most important factor in executive coaching is not the coach.

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Listen to what General Mills CEO Steve Sanger recently told 90 of his colleagues: “As you all know, last year my team told me that I needed to do a better job of coaching my direct reports. I just reviewed my 360-degree feedback. I have been working on becoming a better coach for the past year or so. I’m still not doing quite as well as I want, but I’m getting a lot better. My coworkers have been helping me improve. Another thing that I feel good about is the fact that my scores on ‘effectively responds to feedback’ are so high this year.”
While listening to Steve speak so openly to coworkers about his efforts to develop himself as a leader, I realized how much the world has changed. Twenty years ago, few CEOs received feedback from their colleagues. Even fewer candidly discussed that feedback and their personal developmental plans. Today, many of the world’s most respected chief executives are setting a positive example by opening up, striving continually to develop themselves as leaders.
 
The corporate credo. Companies have wasted millions of dollars and countless hours of employees’ time agonizing over the wording of statements that are inscribed on plaques and hung on walls. There is a clear assumption that people’s behavior will change because the pronouncements on plaques are “inspirational” or certain words “integrate our strategy and values.” There is an implicit hope that when people  -  especially managers  -  hear great words, they will start to exhibit great behavior.
Sometimes these words morph as people try to keep up with the latest trends in corporate-speak. A company may begin by striving for “customer satisfaction,” then advance to “total customer satisfaction,” and then finally reach the pinnacle of “customer delight.”
But this obsession with words belies one very large problem: There is almost no correlation between the words on the wall and the behavior of leaders.
 
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