Keep Leading!® Podcast 088 | C-Suite Coaching for Unconscious Bias | Mark Thompson

Keep Leading!® Podcast 088 | C-Suite Coaching for Unconscious Bias | Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson
The World’s #1 CEO Coach
C-Suite Coaching for Unconscious Bias

Episode Summary
I had an incredible time interviewing Mark Thompson—The World’s #1 CEO Coach on Keep Leading LIVE!™ We discussed his work with some of the world’s top leaders, unconscious bias, and how the power of coaching helps C-Suite leaders.

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Bio
Mark C. Thompson is the World’s #1 Leadership Coach for Transformational Growth, Team Engagement, and Driving Change, according to the American Management Association.

A New York Times bestselling author, Mark is a leadership coach for the world’s fastest-growing, most innovative companies — from LYFT CEO & Cofounder Logan Green, Pinterest Cofounder Evan Sharp, and World Bank CEO Dr. Jim Kim, to founders Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Charles Schwab, for whom he served as the world’s first CXO — Chief Customer Experience Officer.

Forbes Magazine says Mark has the ‘Midas’ touch as a sought-after coach, speaker, and venture investor. His New York Times bestselling books include: ADMIRED: 21 Ways to Double Your Value; Now Build a Great Business, and Success Built to Last – Creating a Life the Matters. Mark is also an Innovation Leadership columnist for Forbes.com, Inc.com, and FastCompany.com. His most recent bestseller, ADMIRED, is a primer on how the world’s “Most Admired Companies” achieve long-term success and growth as well as the qualities that are common to “Most Admired Leaders.”

Website
https://www.markcthompson.com/

LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/successmatters/

Get Your Copy of Mark’s Book!
https://www.markcthompson.com/bestselling-books-mark-c-thompson/

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Full Episode Transcripts and Detailed Guest Information
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Now, Build a Great Business!: 7 Ways to Maximize Your Profits in Any Market

Success Built to Last: Creating a Life that Matters

Admired: 21 Ways to Double Your Value

Transcript

The key to sustainable leadership lies in the ability to thrive during uncertainty, ambiguity, and change. Grand Heron International brings you the Coaching Assistance Program, giving your employees on-demand coaching to manage through a challenging situation and arrive at a solution. Visit GrandHeronInternational.Ca/Podcast to learn more.

This podcast is part of the C Suite Radio Network, turning the volume up on business.

Welcome to the Keep Leading!® Podcast, the podcast dedicated to promoting leadership development and sharing leadership insights. Here’s your host, The Leadership Excelerator®, Eddie Turner.

Eddie Turner:
Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Keep Leading!® Podcast, the podcast dedicated to leadership development and insights. I’m your host, Eddie Turner, The Leadership Excelerator®. I work with leaders to accelerate performance and drive impact through the power of executive coaching, professional speaking, and facilitation.

All right. hello, hello, everyone. I am excited for another episode of Keep Leading LIVE™. I’m your host Eddie Turner. I work with leaders to accelerate performance and drive impact through the power of facilitation, executive and leadership coaching, and professional speaking. Keep Leading LIVE™ like the Keep Leading!® Podcast is dedicated to leadership development and insights.

This week, we’re coming to you every Monday but we changed the time when I’m able to get a big guest like I am today. I changed the time. It’s not our normal time but I’m moving for people like my guest today who I can’t wait to tell you about. I want you to follow me on social media if you’re not already doing so and my guest today. You want to follow my guest today. My guest today, you’re looking at him right there, the world’s number one CEO coach, that is Mr. Mark Thompson, and that’s a pretty common last name. So, if you’re looking for him, you’re looking for Mark C. Thompson.

Mark Thompson:
I get it a lot of time trying to find myself, my friend. So, thank you.
Eddie Turner:
It is so good to have you. Let me just tell people just a couple quick things about you. You are, as I said, the world’s number one CEO coach but you’re also the number one leadership coach for transformational growth, team engagement and driving change. And your bio is very extensive. So, I won’t bore people by telling them your bio. I want you to tell us a little bit more about you and your impressive career.
Mark Thompson:
Well, I am so thrilled to be able to be with you first, Eddie, foremost. The message you have is transformational. The message you have is really inspirational. You really have been helping people, I think, connect with their greater selves and have the kind of impact that they may have not even imagined themselves so they can believe in themselves in bigger ways. And that’s how I roll. That’s what I’m about. I am a serial entrepreneur. I’ve had the privilege of being able to help participate in the incubation and launch and development of great companies, large and small. I’ve more importantly had the opportunity to help be a part of the CEO coaching journey for the people who have been running or operating or being able to transform those companies. And so, I’ve had the opportunity to work with sir. Richard Branson on many of his virgin companies and develop and build and launch the Virgin Entrepreneurship Centers. We’ve done that here in Oakland, California, with the JFK Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership. I’ve had the opportunity to develop the Venture Lab at Stanford where I was a visiting scholar for many years but really feel anchored in helping people find their greater selves and impact through converting that career into something that has a global impact, to convert that passion into something that has a sense of purpose that outlasts you as an individual.

So, I’m honored to be with you, Eddie.

Eddie Turner:
Truly, truly honored to have you, Mark. And you left out some other important things about your background, sir. It’s impressive as it is. I mean, you helped start Lyft, if I’m not mistaken.
Mark Thompson:
Well, I had the privilege of being the CEO coach for Loan Green and the CEO coach for the launching of Pinterest. Evan Sharp has participated in our programs and my CEO summits. I’ve had the privilege of growing up at Charles Schwab and Company. Chuck Schwab remains a dear friend and co-investor on many new ventures. I was there for the IPO of Charles Schwab and Company when that was a little guy and became a big one and a real privilege to work with iconic leaders who’ve been making difference. I got a chance to work with Steve Jobs, met him in high school and didn’t have the foresight to realize that he was going to create Apple but later on, at the turn of the century, in fact, licensed the technology that’s on everybody’s phone today called the MP3 Player, the reason you could listen to a podcast. And many of these shows today is a technology that I was a part of a company called RealPort that pioneered it. So, a real collection of iconic people like you, Eddie.
Eddie Turner:
Yes, we want to get that in because we’re talking about CEO coach, which I neglected to say. We’re talking about C-Suite Coaching for unconscious bias and I want people to understand you aren’t just anybody who’s talking about this. You have been in the c-suite as an executive yourself and you’ve coached some of the top CEOs or CXOs, we’ll say, because you span the gamut, in the world.

And you also have the New York Times bestselling book. Tell us the title of that, by the way.

Mark Thompson:
It’s called Admired: 21 Ways to Double Your Value. So, I think, most of us here, anyone here on the program, please give them a shout out if you feel like you are overvalued. Any takers? I think the only person who’s ever said he was overvalued was Marshall Goldsmith. I think it was just for the effect. Wherever you are in life, you aren’t valued admired and respected as much as you could be. And part of what you’re doing with the mojo that you bring, Eddie, is to help people find that impact and contribution. And when you talk about unconscious bias, it’s something that lives and breathes throughout society in ways that are important to recognize and to learn from and to grow and change. And one of the things that strikes people the most when they visit Silicon Valley and the eclectic collection of voices from all over planet earth. I have the privilege of working with Aisha Evans who was born in Senegal, trained in Paris, went to Georgetown to become a computer scientist and has taken all sorts of pushback as she’s tried to disrupt and improve organizations for the better. She just recently has sold her self-driving automotive company that’s really all about mobility in the 21st century, actually democratizing access to mobility, augmenting that with artificial intelligence that supports people and she sold that company to Amazon. That’s a project that’s now closing these last few weeks. She is an inspiration. She’s one of the many different voices here in the Valley that are making a difference in creating permanent change in the way organizations run and the services that they provide. I think, if anything strikes you more than anything else about innovation is it requires a diversity of voices, it requires that we are including voices regardless of hierarchy. A leader would talk about growing up in the Valley here during the space program. People came from 80 nations to come together on this mission to the moon. And so, in all those different cultures and with all those different languages, it took that sort of what we used to think about as a collection of diverse voices to come up with the discoveries that didn’t even seem possible before that collection of people came together. It’s that diversity of voices that is greater than the sum of any homogeneous voice.
Eddie Turner:
Absolutely, Mark. Thank you for stressing that and talking about Aisha, if I’m pronouncing her name right. She was the CEO of that organization and billion-dollar transaction.
Mark Thompson:
Billion-dollar sale to Amazon. Jeff Bezos … Actually, the two Jeffs were on the onboarding call which today these days is on Zoom, right?
Eddie Turner:
Yes.
Mark Thompson:
We have to say welcome to our family. We’ve never met. We love you.
Eddie Turner:
But we just gave you a billion and a half dollars. They’re beautiful.

Mark, you touched on unconscious bias and why it’s important to have a diverse workforce to make those decisions to have those 1.5-billion-dollar transactions such as Aisha has been able to enjoy. For those who are tuning in and may not know really how to define unconscious bias, it’s a term that is thrown on live, how would you define it?

Mark Thompson:
Well, I’d say that you’ve been able to really help people understand that the reason we call it a blind spot is because we don’t see it. And we need to have the humility to recognize that the majority of what we experience in the day is not something that is a deep expertise that we have and that the reason we partner and team with a group of people for an organization and for a cause is so that we can collectively have the viewpoints and ideas and the intelligence that comes from many backgrounds to lead to better and deeper and broader insights. Otherwise, you’re just talking to ourselves in the mirror all by ourselves. Why do we hire all these people? Why are we hanging out in this organization if we’re all the same? Then all we’re going to be is our own echo chamber, which ends up being a big problem. And so, I think, that’s where unconscious bias can flourish is when we don’t have the humility to realize we have them, that a blind spot by its nature means that we can’t see it. So, we need to be open enough to learn, to be shown and have the patience with ourselves and others to accept those differences. I think that’s probably the biggest difference I see with innovation is that the innovator’s dilemma is you really kind of almost always end up wanting to talk yourself into something that you get complete agreement from others on. That’s more comfortable, hanging out with the same sort of ideas and folks. And to make a change and to make things better, you have to get a little bit out of your comfort zone, I guess, is what I’m saying. Aisha should say that you have to have this combination of hubris and humility. The hubris would be the part where you have the ambition to say “We can’t do something great against all odds” which is audacious on the one hand is what an entrepreneur is saying, “We can create something new and permanent and bigger than ourselves.” That takes a little high self-concept and a leap of faith on the one hand but then have the humility to realize “You know what, I don’t know how to get there. I can’t get there without you and you and you.”
Eddie Turner:
That is so true. And when I think about your example earlier, Mark, and you talked about the impact that this has had in just that one organization but when you look around and you’re talking to leaders and you’re on many different boards of so many organizations, do you see any reticence to really adopting this awareness or do you see people are pretty much, especially today, coming to a new awareness?
Mark Thompson:
I think we’re definitely coming to a new level of awareness. I think the desperate need for that new level of awareness has been incubated by the fact that it is not a natural act for most people try to get comfortable with what you don’t know, to try to get comfortable with ways of living in life and challenges that aren’t your own, that aren’t in your own ecosystem, that a lot of life is lived with inertia and habit and pretty small circles of influence. And this is about the opposite of that. I guess, to be a coach, you and I would have the belief that people can grow and change and grow beyond what they may see as visible. Otherwise, they would have had either the courage or the insight to do it already. And so, I’m always so inspired by the people who choose to be coached because what it’s saying is “Look, I’m vulnerable but I also have some hubris. I know I can get better but the only way I can get better is to learn what I don’t know rather just reinforce what I do know.” So, you’re right. I’m not sure that that’s a natural act for everyone. It’s an act of courage.
Eddie Turner:
Right. And that’s an interesting way of putting it. It’s an act of courage because it’s comfortable to just kind of stay where we are and it’s safe.
Mark Thompson:
In our little safe ecosystem in this little cocoon we don’t realize how small those are even though they may feel global. I think sometimes challenging the social media is you think you’re now global with your point of view and yet what you’ve done is just found more likeminded people around the world which has certain benefits and comfort. That’s nice. You need to be supported. You need to have some reassurance that maybe you’re not crazy or that you have a deep passion for something that is worth loving or that you want to share with others. And yet, it also can be just a self-reinforcing mechanism that doesn’t allow you to grow or see new things that might make you uncomfortable initially. I know that, for me, one of the first things we did with our daughter when we were world schooling rather than homeschooling, my wife and I tried for 20 years to become parents. Just before our 20th anniversary we became parents. We were 43, both of us. What the heck did we know about this now. Well, I’m glad in a sense that we were given this gift later in life when we realized it was about introducing her to a world rather than just making her safe in hers, that to experience the full world which is something we had discovered and had the privilege to be able to do later in life.
Eddie Turner:
Yes, because you truly are world travelers, you and your wife. So, I love this concept of world schooling versus what would you say, homeschooling or did you say …
Mark Thompson:
World schooling instead of homeschooling.
Eddie Turner:
Yeah, I love that. What a brilliant concept.
Mark Thompson:
It’s your idea of this idea of having exposure to many different viewpoints and what Benita, who’s an educator, she’s the doctoral fellow at University of Pennsylvania, and what she would say is, and she was the one guiding us through this incredible process, she would say that the love of learning is what’s important for us to get comfortable with, which means that you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You have to be able to trust yourself and the possibilities of growth to see what you can learn and grow from being open to new ideas. That’s what learning’s supposed to do. If you knew all the stuff, you wouldn’t need to go to school, you wouldn’t get trained, you wouldn’t get coaching, you wouldn’t be onboarded at a company. It’s all about learning something you don’t know.
Eddie Turner:
And, of course, the problem is we don’t know what we don’t know oftentimes. So, we feel like we’re okay.
Mark Thompson:
And that’s more comfortable. Bliss to the ignorance, for sure. So, what Benita and I experienced in our careers which took us around the world is that we were constantly being dropped into places where you know what, people were having incredible lives, thank you very much, not the same lives we were living. They were having community. They were having love. They were having family. They were having successful businesses. They were setting up organizations. They might be in where Aisha’s from. I spent this weekend on the phone with my friend [Inaudible]. She’s one of my new coaches. She’s in our LPR Process Group.
Eddie Turner:
She’s from Zambia.
Mark Thompson:
She’s in Zambia. And last time I was in Zambia, I was canoeing down the Zambezi and Zimbabwe was becoming Mozambique or Mozambique was becoming Zamba and there was controversy and there was war going on. And she is transforming the possibilities for so many men and women in a place where it continues for her to be very rich in the opportunities to have a long-term impact. I could not be the same guy when I came back, meeting with people who were actually having beautiful lives. So, what could be learned from that? Well, we actually just decided to be parents after we went to Africa the first time and realized that there was a whole world that we didn’t know and that we wanted to serve through. I think that there’s been an opportunity for those who’ve ever had the chance to be in places where they’re uncomfortable where they discovered that they could be so much more to embrace that difference.
Eddie Turner:
And I’ll tell you, [Inaudible] really gave me a new perspective when we’re having our conversations around COVID and talking about in the US, you’ve got different resources and programs that were made available that were kicked in to help and do a stopgap of sorts. And she says “Hey, listen. Over here we have these all the time. There’s no government support. There is no help.” She starts to walk through what it’s like in the village and that really made me think “Wow! What am I doing and where am I at mentally?” but then also physically what am I doing after talking to her. She’s brilliant.
Mark Thompson:
She is. And you talk about unconscious bias. Well, there’s no frame of reference in which I could have visited that village until she took me there, in that case, metaphorically, but I’ve been to many, I helped set up in Johannesburg the Branson Entrepreneurship Center and in the Dominican Republic and in Oakland, California here. And I can’t pretend to understand half of the greatest entrepreneurial ideas on this planet when they come in the door. And they come from so many different worlds. I mean, literally ways of life. And how rich is that! That is what lifts all ships if we embrace it.
Eddie Turner:
And what I want to do, Mark, is just take a very brief break and acknowledge a few people who have really been supporters of the show. I acknowledge my sponsors who helped me keep things going.

This podcast is sponsored by Eddie Turner LLC. Organizations who need to accelerate the development of their leaders call Eddie Turner, The Leadership Excelerator®. Eddie works with leaders to accelerate performance and drive impact. Call Eddie Turner to help your leaders one on one as their coach or to inspire them as a group through the power of facilitation or a keynote address. Visit EddieTurnerLLC.com to learn more.

This is Karen Jacobsen, the GPS Girl, and you have reached your destination because you’re listening to the Keep Leading!® Podcast with Eddie Turner.

Eddie Turner:
Now, want to talk about Grand Heron International. Grand Heron is someone who I talk about every week because what they do matters in the world of coaching and leader development. The key to sustainable leadership lies in the ability to thrive during uncertainty, ambiguity, and change. Grand Heron International brings you the Coaching Assistance Program, giving your employees on-demand coaching to manage through a challenging situation and arrive at a solution. Visit GrandHeronInternational.ca/Podcast to learn more.

So, lots of good folks that helped sponsor the Keep Leading!® Podcast. I’m going to definitely mention them.

Also, this month, Starbucks, I want to mention Goldman Sachs, Progressive Insurance, Thrivent. We appreciate your support of the Keep Leading!® Podcast and Keep Leading LIVE™. If you enjoyed the Keep Leading!® Podcast, please head over to Apple Podcast and give us a rating, write a couple sentences as a review so that your friends will know about the Keep Leading!® Podcast. We certainly appreciate your support.

So, I am talking to Mark C. Thompson today. He’s ranked the world’s number one CEO coach. I didn’t mention this earlier. I should have said it. he’s one of Marshall Goldsmith’s 100 coaches. He’s in the Thinkers 50. He’s a NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author. He’s one of the top gurus in the world as ranked by Global Gurus. And he’s on the Fast Company Impact Council.

Mark, we should also mention that you have your own show. Can you tell us the name of your show?

Mark Thompson:
We, do a series that’s called the C-Suite Master Class, C-SuiteMasterClass.com. And in fact, our latest one that ran this last Friday was with Venus Williams who’s been a long-time client and friend who was talking about finding your mojo to create that business to convert that passion into sense of purpose in the work that you do because she’s been, I think, a great role model not only, of course, in being an Olympian and a tennis legend but also a leader in business. She is a CEO. She has been running a fashion brand called V-Star and she has a clothing line called Eleven which is really talking about you think you’re rated 8, 9 or 10, well she’s an 11. That’s that all about. And V-Star is an interior design and transformation business. So, she’s had two very successful businesses. She’s been a real estate investor. In fact, in the show that she did with me on Friday and on the C-SuiteMasterClass.com, she talks about how when she was just eight years old, dad and mom would play foreclosure tapes, how to buy a foreclosure, it’s like “Really? Can you show me that now?” She says “I got zero on that now but what it taught me was you got to share what the values are, that you can help empower a person of any age to think about how to create a life and prosperity for themselves and maybe take control of their future” because they said “You aren’t going to get that in grade school.” Sometimes you don’t get out of high school knowing how to offer and open a checking account, let alone how to buy real estate. So, she said “This is part of that self-improvement. I know that for me growing up, I had real challenges in my family. I had a father who wasn’t around. I had a mother who had polio. She was in a wheelchair. I had a brother who had a brain injury at birth that we had to care for. And I had a significant eye issue that made it impossible for me even to be reading well in middle school. So, I had a significant trauma around learning and the experiences in learning but then had to care for my family. So, I didn’t get to play sports in school. I wasn’t the first in my class.” It’s really weird to have me described as a New York Times bestselling author or a Stanford graduate because when I was in adolescence, I couldn’t read. So, for me, it was sheer willpower and I got thrown into having to care for my mom and my brother and help keep a roof over our head as a janitor, working my way through San Jose State University here as a college student. And junior achievement ended up being a great plus for me and something Venus brought up because there are some programs like that. [Inaudible] who’s also in our MG100 group is the leader of junior achievement.
Eddie Turner:
That’s right.
Mark Thompson:
Really great programs to help you learn what you’re unaware of. Talk about unconscious. There’s just a whole set of worlds that we don’t know about that we don’t get at home or at school necessarily. We don’t get that sort of reinforcement. So, it’s basically saying “I don’t care how old you are. You could also think about mapping a plan to make things better for your world.” Curtis Martin, the NFL Hall of Famer, is in my LPR Group. We have [inaudible] together.
Eddie Turner:
Well, you’ve got the groove, Mark. I’m jealous.
Mark Thompson:
Every weekend I meet with 50 of the world’s top thought leaders, [Inaudible] among them. Every weekend we do seven programs with groups of six or eight in what we call forum summits and we go through our goals and objectives and it’s to help us really move beyond our bias and how can we have people in a sense maybe kick us in the unconscious bias areas. We can’t see what we can’t see. We need people that have credibility in our lives. So, [Inaudible] said “Mark, you’re not seeing all of this” and it’s okay. And I could feel safe with her giving me that coaching. Well, Curtis Martin is in that group. He just launched his first private equity fund. He’s a former football player. Hated football. He learned to play football because he discovered in school that he was running a heck of a lot faster than a lot of the other guys, could dodge away like crazy and he had lost over a dozen of his friends to gang violence. Talk about other worlds that we haven’t lived in. I haven’t lost 14 friends under the age of 21. That’s a reality in the neighborhood that he grew up in. And so, he had to run to school. He would sit outside his mother’s bathroom so frightened as a child that she would not want for him to be out of reach for too long and abusive dad. When he realized he had this special talent, he decided he would set himself because football could be his ticket out and then he was going to commit himself to a life of service. So, that’s what he’s done. He has a foundation. He has businesses that he’s participating in. He’s doing the first African-American private equity fund where he’s brought together some of the great thought leaders, celebrities, athletes with resources and creating a community where they can invest in black entrepreneurs. Just launched it this last week. You’ve got to give it to Curtis Martin for doing something that is unbelievable to think, hasn’t been done at this pace ever before.
Eddie Turner:
Thank you for telling me. I can’t wait to talk to him again. That’s awesome.
Mark Thompson:
It’s huge please. Give him a big shout out for that.
Eddie Turner:
I will definitely do that. So, shout out to Curtis Martin who’s doing some really great things. And thank you for your own vulnerability and then thank you for sharing his story and that of [inaudible] and Venus.

And now, there’s something you said, I want to make sure other people know who are listening. what does LPR stand for?

Mark Thompson:
So, this is a discovery for us. I mean, you and I, some people call us master coaches because we’ve been at this for a long time. Well, I think all that means is, I guess, the bigger compliment would be to call us master learners to find out what we’re not conscious of and what we can learn more about because boy, I’ve learned more in the last four months than I have in the last four years. We’ve done two things. The process that Eddie is talking about is LPR – Live Process Review. And there is in business, most businesses of any size develop, and many organizations do this as well, they set up a set of goals that they can measure because it’s hard to really manage something that you don’t hold yourself accountable for or have other people objectively holding you accountable for. So, it’s the idea of you can manage what you can measure. So, most businesses will get a group of the leaders of that organization together at all levels and customers and say “What are our objectives? Where are we going? And how do we break that down in terms of deliverables every week, every month, every year?” And so, that’s called usually a business process review and that’s something we heard from Alan Mullaly who’s also a part of our group. He’s the one who actually prompted this idea of having our particular LPR have Jim Yong Kim who’s the former CEO and president of the World Bank is in our group.
Eddie Turner:
So, both of those guys are in your LPR as well?
Mark Thompson:
Yes.
Eddie Turner:
I’m on the wrong group.
Mark Thompson:
It’s a remarkable group of humans. I can’t be above anything they have to offer me, right? It’s like “Get over yourself, Mark. You’ve got to learn here.” And what’s good about it also is that we rotate these groups in this particular method because there’s always some new faces in the group and that actually helps to not get too comfortable again knowing what Mark’s going to load on you this week because he did that the last six weeks but what if Jim is now part of it, what if [Inaudible] shows up, what if Curtis Martin says “Hey, look, on Wednesday mornings I help people who are getting over addiction. And, Mark, aren’t you addicted to this sensibility? Is that serving you and others? How are you showing up for your lady this weekend? Have you shown up for the loved ones in your life?” It’s great to have powerful people in your life Loving critics is what I call it. We all have to have some loving critics. It’s really that growth mindset you were talking about. People get better.
Eddie Turner:
Well, listen, we’re moving toward the close, ladies and gentlemen. So, if you have any questions for the world’s number one CEO coach, this is the time to ask it as we move toward the close.

Mark, what’s the main message you want to leave our listeners with?

Mark Thompson:
I think that at every stage of our lives, there’s an opportunity to learn how to be a better version of what you could become. I think that’s what I’ve learned. I’m 62 years old and I’m, as I said, learning more in the last four months of COVID than I have learned in the last four years, I think, because two things happened. I decided to join an LPR group and subject myself to the same damn advice that I give others like “Okay, how many professors say “Okay, you sit and you listen.”” And as Marshall Goldsmith would always tell us, if you like the advice, say thank you; if you don’t like the advice, say thank you. How much better we can grow. I’m a so much better coach than I was. I’ve been at this for 30 years. I’m much better now than I was. I feel sorry for all the people who had to work with me before I could do it … I’m better because I talk to you so.
Eddie Turner:
Well, it’s truly my privilege to be able to talk to you, sir. You taking time out of your schedule to talk to me means the world to me.

By the way, is there any specific quote that you live by or the best piece of leadership advice you’ve received that will help our leaders keep leading?

Mark Thompson:
Yes, I’d say that being vulnerable to learning, this meta message is really what is the secret sauce for all the greatest thought leaders. I think we think too often. I’m a Curtis Martin or Venus Williams or a Hubert Jolie or a Jim Yong Kim that they have a lot. Well, guess what, the best news is that if you’re doing what you love, it’s the journey that matters and the quality of the contribution and that we can’t be as dependent on the outcomes long term, that we can do our best. Susanne Lyons, she’s chairman of the US Olympic Committee. She’s in our LPR group. She’s a dear friend of mine. She was brought in just as interim CEO during all the terrible scandals that had occurred with the US Olympic Committee around the treatment by doctors of the gymnastics team. She came in and she’s testified before congress more than anybody you or I have ever known, talking about issues which were not on her watch and she’s not even a sportsman and she feels like it’s her duty because of all the incredible athletes and contributors and dreams and also identity of a nation that comes around being quality people and doing what’s right as a part of the Olympics. So, way to bring the world together. And so, she’s doing it out of a sense of mission and she said “You know, there’s not every case where I can solve it for everybody. None of us can. My job today is to make things better than they were.” And that’s what I believe. You don’t have to be perfect to do something great. That’s what I live by. And I think when you talk to the people who’ve achieved the most and who learn the most, that’s how they live their lives. It’s not about perfection. It’s about contribution and service. And that’s how you roll, Eddie. So, I’m delighted to be here. And please reach out to me. I’m Mark C. Thompson. You can reach me at Mark@MarkCThompson.com and at C-SuiteMasterClass.com or take a look at our book Admired. We’re coming out with a second edition. By the way, I’m showing collaboration and partnership because my wife and I, who’s my business partner as well, wrote that book in 2012, it was my only New York Times bestseller and it’s, of course, because I traded up on my partnerships. I married up, which is also another little tip, although I think it’s out of the scope of our lecture today. So, we’re writing a second edition of that and it’s about collaboration. And if you really want to be the most valued, admired and respected for what you do, nobody does it alone. It’s not about you.
Eddie Turner:
You gave me a lot of good feedback today, a lot of good content for our audience. I appreciate you very much and we’re going to put how to find you in the show notes so that folks can just click on and easily connect to you. We’re going to build a page out for you because we’re going to release this as a regular episode in a couple of months. I want folks to stay connected to you, check out the C-Suite Master Class where you interview people like Venus Williams, Quincy Jones the other day, just doing some incredible things and a true thought leader, a true heavyweight in the coaching business. Thank you again for being a guest on the Keep Leading!® Podcast and Keep Leading LIVE™.
Mark Thompson:
Thank you, Eddie.
Eddie Turner:
And thank you for listening. That concludes this episode, everyone. Boy, I was so excited to talk to Mark. This is just another reminder that leadership is not about our title or our position. Leadership is an action. It’s about activity. It’s not a garment we put on and take off. We must be a leader at our core and allow it to emanate in all that we do. So, whatever you’re doing, always keep leading.

Thank you for listening to your host Eddie Turner on the Keep Leading!® Podcast. Please remember to subscribe to the Keep Leading!® Podcast on iTunes or wherever you listen. For more information about Eddie Turner’s work, please visit EddieTurnerLLC.com.

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The Keep Leading!® podcast is for people passionate about leadership. It is dedicated to leadership development and insights. Join your host Eddie Turner, The Leadership Excelerator® as he speaks with accomplished leaders and people of influence across the globe as they share their journey to leadership excellence. Listen as they share leadership strategies, techniques and insights. For more information visit eddieturnerllc.com or follow Eddie Turner on Twitter and Instagram at @eddieturnerjr. Like Eddie Turner LLC on Facebook. Connect with Eddie Turner on LinkedIn.