Keep Leading!® Podcast Episode 046: Insights from the World’s #1 Executive Coach

Keep Leading!® Podcast Episode 046: Insights from the World’s #1 Executive Coach

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith
World’s #1 Leadership Thinker & #1 Executive Coach
Insights from the World’s #1 Executive Coach

Episode Summary
Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is the world’s #1 Leadership Thinker and #1 Executive Coach! We discussed his latest NYT Best-Selling book with Sally Helgesen, his upcoming book collaboration with Alan Mulally, and the first MG100 Annual Meeting.

Check out this 60 Second preview of the episode!


 

Bio
Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is the world authority in helping successful leaders achieve positive, lasting change in behavior: for themselves, their people and their teams. He was recently recognized as the #1 Leadership Thinker in the World and the top rated executive coach at the Thinkers 50 ceremony in London. Marshall is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Triggers, MOJO and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. His books have sold over two million copies, been translated into 30 languages and become listed bestsellers in twelve counties. He is one of the few executive advisors who have been asked to work with over 150 major CEOs and their management teams. Dr. Goldsmith is a Fellow in the National Academy of Human Resources and winner of the Lifetime Achievement in Teaching Award from the Institute for Management Studies. His work has been recognized by almost every professional organization in this field. You may contact Marshall at Marshall@marshallgoldsmith.com and find more about Marshall at www.MarshallGoldsmith.com.

Website
https://www.marshallgoldsmith.com/

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

Twitter
https://twitter.com/coachgoldsmith

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Marshall.Goldsmith.Library/

Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/coachgoldsmith/

Get Your Copy of Marshall’s Book!
https://www.marshallgoldsmith.com/product/how-women-rise-break-the-12-habits-holding-you-back-from-your-next-raise-promotion-or-job/

Subscribe, Share and Review

How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job

Transcript

If you’re a small business owner looking to grow or expand your business, check out OnDeck Business Loans. OnDeck offers business loans online from 5000 dollars to 500,000 dollars and their simple application process only takes 10 minutes. Unlike banks they’ll give you a decision quickly and funding in as fast as one day. Get a free consultation with an OnDeck loan adviser. Visit OnDeck.com/Podcast.

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

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.

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.

I first learned about my guest today as an adult who went back to school to finish his undergraduate degree. I went to Northwestern University and I was introduced to Aileen Baird. She was one of the toughest professors around and she really challenged me and left a lasting impact on me. Part of that impact was introducing me to the work of Dr. Marshall Goldsmith. She introduced me to the book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and it instantly resonated with me. I became a Marshall Goldsmith fan and a follower of his work as a result of Aileen Baird. Fast forward about 10 years and I found myself going into the world of coaching. And as part of my certification training, I was again and required to read the book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is the world authority in helping successful leaders achieve positive lasting change in behavior for themselves, their people, and their teams. He is recognized as the number one leadership thinker and the number one executive coach in the world. He has more than 1.5 million followers on LinkedIn alone and this makes him a true LinkedIn influencer. He is the author of 39 books, including New York Times bestsellers Triggers, Mojo, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, and How Women Rise. He sold more than 2.5 million copies of those books around the world. So, I am truly excited to have with me today Dr. Marshall Goldsmith.

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, welcome to the Keep Leading!® Podcast.

Dr. Goldsmith:
Thank you so much for inviting me. It’s my pleasure.
Eddie Turner:
Please tell us a little bit more about you.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Well, I was born in Kentucky. I went to school in Indiana. I got a PhD at UCLA Anderson School. I was as a college professor and dean when I was young. And I do three things. I give talks or teach classes. I travel all around the world speaking and teaching. I’ve been to 102 countries and on American Airlines alone, I have over 11 million frequent flyer miles. And I write books and articles, as you mentioned. I’ve actually now done 41. So, I’ve done a lot of books and articles. And then I’m famous for coaching people. I’ve been coaching CEOs of Ford, Pfizer, Latrobe, World Bank, Mayo Clinic, Walmart and so on and on and on. And what I learned about coaching, I’m sure you’ve found the same thing, is I learned so much. In theory, we’re supposed to teach them when in practice, I was learning from what I teach.
Eddie Turner:
And when you say you learn from what you teach, Dr. Goldsmith, what would you say is the biggest lesson you’ve learned through your amazing career as a coach?
Dr. Goldsmith:
I’m often asked what’s the key to being a great coach. And the key to being a great coach is great customers. In my coaching, I have a very unique system. I don’t get paid if my clients don’t get better. And better is not judged by me or them. It’s judged by everyone around them. So, you can tell if a person really believes what they’re saying, ask them one question – “Want to bet on it?” – “I believe it but I wouldn’t bet on it.” I don’t believe it but since here’s the money, they believe it. I bet on this every time. When you get paid for results, you learn humility. The client I coached and I spent the most amount of time with didn’t improve at all and they paid. The client I coached and spent the least amount of time was improved more than anyone I’ve ever coached, 200 people got better and I didn’t get paid. So, I made a chart. I have a degree in mathematics. I made a chart. One dimension was called ‘Time Spent with Executive Coach Marshall Goldsmith’. The other dimension was called ‘Improvement’. There seemed to be a clear negative correlation between spending time with me and getting better. I thought it’s troubling chart. So, I got to talk to my friend who improved the most and I spent the least amount of time with. He and I are working on a book together now. His name was Alan Mullaly. Alan was CEO of Ford, CEO of the Yean in the United States in 2014, ranked Number Three Greatest Leader in the Whole World, just an amazing man and just a good friend of mine. I talked to him just an hour or two ago. So, I go to my friend Alan and I said “Alan, of all people I coached, I spent the least amount of time with you and you improved the most.” I showed Alan my chart. I said “Alan, the way this chart looks, if you never met me, you’d really been good.” I said “What should I learn about coaching from you?” Well, he taught me two great lessons. He said “Number one, your biggest challenge as coach is called customer selection. If you pick great customer, your coaching process always works. If you pick the wrong customer, your coaching process will never work.” Then he said “Never make the coaching process about yourself and your own ego and how smart you think you are. Make it about those great people you work with and how proud you are of them and how hard they work.” Well, these are such great lessons and that has totally changed my life, really got me focused on helping great people. I always got ranked number one coach. Why? Nobody watched me coach anybody. Oh, you got ranked number one coach because you got great clients who sound great.
Eddie Turner:
How about that? So, the secret to being a great coach is picking great clients.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Let me give you an analogy. Let’s take a basketball team. One team is the All Stars. Another team is people who’ve never won. Which coach is probably going to win that game?
Eddie Turner:
The team with the All Stars.
Dr. Goldsmith:
That’s generally the way it works. There’s only so much you can do as a coach. Ultimately, it’s up to them.
Eddie Turner:
Well, that’s a really good analogy.
Dr. Goldsmith:
If they’re motivated and dedicated and want to get better, they’ll do it. And if they’re not, they won’t.
Eddie Turner:
Excellent. So, Alan Mullaly, one of the premier CEOs who was successful, I believe, it was Boeing where he was at and before you went to Ford.
Dr. Goldsmith:
And then Ford, yes.
Eddie Turner:
Yes, yes. So, he’s one of the examples of one of your best clients that you have achieved results with. And now you’re working on a new book. So, we will look forward to hearing more about that book in the near future and being able to read that.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Very exciting.
Eddie Turner:
So, when we think about some of your works, I heard that you had 39, you told me now that the latest statistic is 41 books. If someone is being introduced to your work for the first time, is there a book that you think they should start with first?
Dr. Goldsmith:
Yeah, I would start with the one you did – What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – first.
Eddie Turner:
Okay, excellent.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Then I’ll go to Triggers as the second. Those two books got ranked by Amazon in the Top 200 Leadership and Success books ever written in history. So, let’s start with those two.
Eddie Turner:
All right.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Most of the 41 books that I’ve written or edited were purchased only by my mother, my father, and assorted relatives. So, unless you need some aid on how to go to sleep, I wouldn’t recommend a lot of my books.
Eddie Turner:
Well, that means that you’ve got 2.5-million revenue sales because a lot of people have read them. And as an author myself, I don’t know how to even sell 1000 copies of your book. So, I’m obviously in awe of you and what you’ve been able to accomplish.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Thank you so much.
Eddie Turner:
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and Triggers are the two that we would recommend.
Dr. Goldsmith:
And then also, How Women Rise, I think, is an excellent book. That book is really good too.
Eddie Turner:
Yes, I had the amazing privilege to interview your co-author for that book, who I just absolutely love, Sally Helgesen a couple of months ago and Sally said something, when I asked her about the genesis of that book, that I found very intriguing. Having read your book first, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, and at the time, I was not a coach. I just was an individual who was, in fact, at the time still an information technology professional but I was working with a lot of senior executives in major corporations. So, that’s why that book really appealed to me because of the behaviors I’ve seen and a belief system I had about kind of the way they should operate but I didn’t have a language for it. And certainly, I was an IT person. I didn’t even have the authority to even share with them what my view was. And so, your book really laid it out so nicely but then when I started to operate as a coach myself, I realized that some of the things that were there didn’t necessarily apply to female clients. And I started to get a lot of female clients.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Well, that’s the genesis of the book.
Eddie Turner:
Okay. Tell me more.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Well, I mean, they’re really great books. And actually, I realized 85% of my clients have been men. Instead, that book tends to be more focused on issues that have been to women. And some of the issues men or women have are the same but some of them are different. Why don’t you get in Sally write to a book about how they’re different? That one call led to the book.
Eddie Turner:
Wow! That is incredible. And for those who don’t know, Sally Helgesen is the world’s premier authority who pioneered women’s leadership before it was even popular. And so, that’s why I suggested you two get together.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Oh, yes. So, it was a really fortuitous thing. Sally and I have known each other for 25 years. So, we’re also old friends.
Eddie Turner:
Wonderful. Wonderful. And that book is an incredible book. In fact, I’ve given that book to several clients and friends as a gift. And it really is making a difference in women’s lives. And so, How Women Rise is another book that we would definitely recommend people read.
Dr. Goldsmith:
And the three books I recommended – What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, Triggers, and How Women Rise – are all incredibly well-written books. Now, why can I say that without bragging? I didn’t write any of those books. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and Triggers, they were written by my partner Mark Reiter. So, we have a partnership. I’m a thinker. I come up with the ideas. We talk, he writes, and then we do a book together. And I’m a very good writer. I’m not nearly as good writer is Mark Reiter. And the book How Women Rise was written by Sally. She’s a better writer than I am too. So, the three best books I’ve ever done have one thing in common. I didn’t write them.
Eddie Turner:
So, Marshall, do I hear you tell there’s another algorithm that needs to be written about the amount of time?
Dr. Goldsmith:
Exactly. Have a great partner. I never thought about this but you made a great point. The secret of coaching is great client. The secret of writing is to find somebody who can write.
Eddie Turner:
I love it. Excellent. Very good.

Well, we’re talking to Marshall Goldsmith, the number one leadership thinker and the number one executive coach in the world. And we’ll have more with Marshall right after this.

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.

Hi! This is Sally Helgesen. I am an author and leadership coach and you’re listening to the Keep Leading!® Podcast with Eddie Turner.

Eddie Turner:
Okay, we’re back. I have the honor of talking to the number one leadership thinker and the number one executive coach in the world today, Marshall Goldsmith. And by the way, he’s held that ranking for the last eight years. And we spent time before the break talking about Marshall’s amazing literary works that he’s produced over the years. And he gave us some really good advice.

So, now we’re going to switch gears a little bit. We talked about Sally Helgesen. And Sally Helgesen and I later learned, Marshall, that I’ve interviewed now five people that are part of an amazing group and the amazing group they’re part of is the MG100 or Marshall Goldsmith’s 100 Coaches. Can you tell my listeners a little bit about what that program is?

Dr. Goldsmith:
Well, years ago, I went to a program called Design the Life You Love with Ayse Birsel, one of the world’s top designers. And she said “Who are your heroes?” And my heroes were kind and generous people who really taught me all I knew for free and didn’t expect much back, people like Paul Hersey, Peter Drucker, Ken Blanchard, Warren Bennis, Richard Beckhard, and Frances Hesselbein, just wonderful people. And she said “You should be more like those people?” I decided to teach people everything I know for free and the only price is when they get old, they had to do the same thing. So, I made a little video and put it on LinkedIn, little 30-second video and said “My name is Marshall. I got ranked number one leadership thinker, number one coach, number one book and getting old and I would adopt 15 people, teach them all I know for free, and the only price is when you get old, you have to do the same thing.” I thought maybe 100 people would apply. Turned out now over 18,000 people have applied. I’ve ended up adopting about 190. The group is called the MG100. It’s more than 100 now. It’s about 190. And, as you know, these are just amazing, amazing people who are really focused on giving back, helping each other, and have a positive sense of community together. It’s just been wonderful. By the way, we get two couples in the group who are in love.
Eddie Turner:
Okay.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Hubert Joly, one of my good friends, who was CEO of Best Buy, he and [Inaudible][16:09] who is an author and consultant, they’re getting married.
Eddie Turner:
How about that!
Dr. Goldsmith:
And Eric Schurenberg, he is head of Inc Magazine, [Inaudible][16:17], getting married, I think, to Alyssa who’s a number one startup coach. So, who knew? This has turned out to be a huge deal which was way beyond anything I might have ever dreamed of.
Eddie Turner:
So, you brought together some of the world’s top coaches, top consultants and thinkers. And in addition to being the leadership coach, it sounds like you’re going to become the love doctor.
Dr. Goldsmith:
What’s amazing is if you look at some of the people, they’re not all in the traditional coaching world. For example, Chris Cuomo, he is CNN news. He’s one of the ones in our group. And today, I was just with Paul Gasol. Paul, I don’t know if you remember, played for the Lakers, NBA All Stars, probably going to be in the Hall of Fame. So, he wants to work now on how to help retiring athletes have a great life. So, he and I were on the phone for an hour today. Just a wonderful person. So, it’s been an amazing project.
Eddie Turner:
Yes, there’s a big need for that as I have discovered because Houston, I learned because I was introduced to athletes here, is the number one hub of retired NBA players. And so, because of that, I was introduced to a couple of stars to help them and work with them. And I was blown away. I had no idea that such a need existed to help athletes transition from the competitive space to the corporate space or a life after sports. I assumed that there were already mechanisms in place for that but there isn’t. so, it’s great to hear that all Paul is filling that gap.
Dr. Goldsmith:
The numbers are awful. And, as bad as the NBA is, they’re 50% bankrupt in five or six years, about 90% divorced. The NFL Football League is worse.
Eddie Turner:
Wow!
Dr. Goldsmith:
Their numbers are atrocious. By the way, some new people are joining our group along with Paul Gasol. Curtis Martin and Ray Lewis in the NFL.
Eddie Turner:
Oh really?
Dr. Goldsmith:
Yeah, these guys were talking about their lives and how they want to help people now. Their lives are spent when they’re an athlete with total structure and control – “I have work out. I have to do this. I have to do that.” When that structure and control is taken away, a lot of them just revert back to very bad things. The other thing we’ve learned is they wasted their money. Evander Holyfield was worth 250 million bucks. He made 250 million in boxing. He is worth zero today.
Eddie Turner:
I know that. That’s staggering.
Dr. Goldsmith:
It’s mind blowing. I mean, a lot of it is drugs, alcohol, cars, fancy homes. They would love this. I They gave the money away. Gave it away.
Eddie Turner:
Well, that makes what Shaq has done even more impressive. And he said “It’s not about how much you make. It’s about how much you keep.”
Dr. Goldsmith:
That’s it. And a lot of them, a lot of their buddies come and say they were brought up poor. Their friends say “Look, I was your friend in the hood. And you’re worth 50 million bucks. All I need is 20,000.” And they say “Okay.” What happens after you give that guy 20,000? What happens next month?
Eddie Turner:
He wants more.
Dr. Goldsmith:
He wants more. Then they retire and then they try to buy love sometimes and it doesn’t work. There’s an old song, great song by Billie Holiday – “Money, you got a lot of friends hanging around the door. When it’s gone and spend them in, they don’t come around no more.”
Eddie Turner:
Not only am I getting wisdom from Marshall Goldsmith today, I got Marshall Goldsmith to serenade my audience. How about that?
Dr. Goldsmith:
There you go. I had no idea.
Eddie Turner:
I love it.
Dr. Goldsmith:
So, back to our project. Paul Gasol, he wants to interview some of the members of our group. Jim Kim just left as head of the World Bank. Alan, as you mentioned, CEO of Ford, he talked about how are they doing their post-corporate lives. And it’s true for CEOs. It’s true for athletes, singers, all kinds of people.
Eddie Turner:
Indeed. Also, the work that the MG 100is accomplishing is fantastic and it’s exciting to hear about some of these new members who have been added. And, in full disclosure, I am honored to have been one of the people you’ve added as a part of the group.
Dr. Goldsmith:
I love to have you in our group. I think you were officially sponsored by Gen. Tom Colditz. Is that correct?
Eddie Turner:
Sally Helgesen.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Sally?
Eddie Turner:
Sally.
Dr. Goldsmith:
I know you’ve been wanted by a lot of people.
Eddie Turner:
Gen. Colditz definitely played a role as well but Sally sponsored and then Gen. Colditz, Howard Prager, and Frank Wagner also supported my nomination.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Well, I’m honored to have you as an honorary … You’re not my honorary son. You’re my honorary grandson. I have you as an honorary grandson and you got some new customs coming up. And if you have anybody giving you a hard time, Ray Lewis is your honorary cousin. I don’t know if you ever saw him but I don’t think you might be messing with him.
Eddie Turner:
I’m looking forward to seeing him at our annual meeting. Yeah, having Ray Lewis behind you, that’s certainly fun.
Dr. Goldsmith:
I know. Stranger that it is, Chris Cuomo, the announcer, is one of the people. I was bragging about him to Ray Lewis and Ray was unimpressed.
Eddie Turner:
Well, wonderful. Well, what do you think about the world of coaching? What advice do you have for coaches?
Dr. Goldsmith:
Well, my advice for coaches is you got to have great clients and don’t make it about your own ego. Also, though, very excited that you’re going to be joining us in January?
Eddie Turner:
Absolutely. I would not miss it for the world.
Dr. Goldsmith:
You mentioned Alan Mullaly. I’m going to connect a few dots here. My friend Alan Mullaly and I just spent the first three hours in January talking about a brand-new coaching project that I think is going to revolutionize the whole field. What I’m doing and what he’s doing is we’re combining his leadership process, and he’s probably the greatest leader in this century, and my coaching process for making one process that applies from anything to an individual to a multibillion-dollar company.
Eddie Turner:
Isn’t that interesting?
Dr. Goldsmith:
And you’ll be there.
Eddie Turner:
Yes. Now, I’m really even more excited than I was already.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Obviously, I’m biased but I think it’s going to be fantastic. And he has put together a leadership system. I was his coach many, many years ago. He’s taken my coaching process, combined it with his leadership process, and I think this is taking coaching to a whole another level. And we’re really going to be talking about the impact of potentially using this process anywhere from one person up to, in his case, the multibillion-dollar corporation.
Eddie Turner:
Wow! So, it’s scalable.
Dr. Goldsmith:
It’s totally scalable. And also, the key is for both Alan and for me it’s a process. I tell my clients “Look, I don’t get paid because I’m a good coach. I get paid because you’re a good customer. Don’t be making it about me. This is a process and if you follow the process, you will get better. And if you don’t follow the process, you probably won’t get better. And me being your coach or not coach is not the key variable.” Now, Eddie, I have a little bit of advantage as a coach. I say “If you don’t get better, it’s about you. It’s not about me” is kind of an implied message. “You see that book and those 50 big CEOs’ names? They all got better. They got better. So maybe if you don’t get better, one of us has a problem and it is you.”
Eddie Turner:
Tough to argue with that.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Yeah. I am so excited about the new things we’re working on together and so excited that you’re going to be joining us in January. We’re going to spend three hours with this. Then Alan’s going to be there for two days. So, you’re going to get a chance to really interact with somebody who not only understands this from a coaching perspective but from a massive leadership perspective.
Eddie Turner:
Well, I can’t wait. I can’t wait. So, let me ask this then. So, you gave us some more advice for coaches, then amplified what you said earlier, but what do you see is the future of coaching? Is it this process that you’re going to be introduced with Alan?
Dr. Goldsmith:
I’d say it is definitely the future because it’s basically looking at coaching from a whole different perspective. Let me just give you a couple of breakthrough ideas. We’ve been taught one thing. In your life, people say “Well, why is this stuff I teach so hard to do?” Well, one reason this is hard to do is, and I talked about this in my book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, is you spent a whole life taking tests. You mentioned you went to Northwestern. You take tests. You take tests over and over and over again. What was the purpose of these tests? Prove how smart you were. You don’t have to prove how smart you are hundreds or thousands of times. It’s hard to stop. It’s very hard to stop this stuff. And, by the way, every time you proved you were smart, would you get toward positive recognition – “Oh, Eddie, you’re good. You’re smart. You get to go to this fancy school. Oh, look at you. You’re the smart one.” And how about if you didn’t get those tests right? – “Woo, very bad, very bad. Oh, not so good. Not so good at all.” We have been conditioned to prove how smart we are over and over and over again thousands of times in our lives. It’s hard to stop. And the higher up you go, the more you need to learn to stop. The other thing is every motivational speech sends the wrong message for leaders. What message do you get in any motivational speech? – “You can do it. You can do it. You can do it. You can do it” – but the problem is when you’re CEO, as Alan taught me, it’s not about you. It’s about them. It’s not if you can do it. It’s if this team can do it, this company can do it, they can do it. And it’s hard because we’ve been so conditioned, and even these leaders have talked about “I’m a servant leader and I empower people,” they’re just taking the problem and passing it down one level. So, now your top seven people all believe “I can do it. I can do it. It’s all about me.” No, no, it isn’t. It’s not all about you. It’s about this whole company. It’s about our stakeholders. It’s not all about you. And it’s because we’ve been brought up to believe that you have to be ashamed if you need help.
Eddie Turner:
Yes.
Dr. Goldsmith:
You have to be ashamed if you don’t have all the answers. Well, Peter Drucker taught me about knowledge workers. Knowledge worker knows more about what they’re doing than their boss does. Everybody I work with manages knowledge workers. They know more than you. You can’t just tell them what to do and how to do it. You have to be a facilitator. You have to ask, you have to listen, you have to learn. And this is a big change. This is a big change. And, by the way, most coaches, you know what their philosophy is? “I’m going to sit there in the room and ask you questions and you’re going to come up with the answer from inside you.” That’s fine if you’re doing life coaching. What Alan want is when some guys got a bunch of cars backed up out in the Tundra because they got a part broken, they got to know what to do. Well, Alan’s asking them questions about life is not going to get the cars fixed, right?
Eddie Turner:
Right.
Dr. Goldsmith:
You got to find somebody who knows what they’re doing and learn to ask them for help. When Alan first went to Ford, the company was losing 17 billion, billion with a B, dollars. The stock was down to $1.01 and the company was careening into bankruptcy. In his first meeting he had top 16 leaders and said “Okay, you’re going to give me your five top priorities Red, Yellow or Green – Green, we’re on plan; Yellow, we’re not on plan but we have a strategy; and Red, we’re not a plan and we have no strategy. Red, Yellow Green in first meeting. 16 x 5 = 80 priorities and losing 17 billion dollars. You know what the results were? All green. Alan said “Well, we’re losing 17 billion dollars and we’re all on plan.” He said “I think this is a bad plan. We may want to reconsider this plan. We’re losing 17 billion dollars here. Somebody’s got to be doing something. Why don’t we do it over?” Finally, somebody said “Red.” Alan said “Thank you for saying red.” He stands up and applauds – “Thank you for having the courage to admit you need to improve.” And then he said something even more profound. He said “You’re not afraid. You know how to get there. You’re lost. It is okay. You’re certainly sure of your own thing. My name is Alan Mullaly. I’m the CEO of Ford Motor Company. I will tell you one thing. I know a whole lot less than you do. I know a whole lot less than we do. What don’t we actually find some people who know what they’re doing and involve them and figure out how to fix this?”

Now, how simple was that, number one and number two, how brilliant was that? Number three, the sad part. How unusual was that? How many CEOs would say “I don’t know the answer.”

Eddie Turner:
Not many.
Dr. Goldsmith:
You know more than name. Not enough. And what Alan says is “Not only do I not know the answer and, by the way, you don’t know the answer, let’s be real. None of the big shots sitting in this room know how to solve your problem. How do we find some smart young people out there who actually know something and see if we can get this fixed?” You know what he said? Within 15 minutes the problem was fixed.
Eddie Turner:
Wow! That’s quite impressive. It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable like that.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Well, that’s the new world. That’s what we’re going to teach, as a coach. I say you’re going to learn a little bit from me but you’re going to learn a whole lot from all those people around you. I’m a facilitator who’s going to help you learn from these good people. I’m not god that has all the answers. And, by the way, you got a problem because Mary says you don’t listen. You can sit in a row and have me ask you probing questions for a few years. You might want to go ask Mary “How can I be a better listener?” Why don’t we just ask Mary?
Eddie Turner:
Yeah. Well, you summarized it very nicely there.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Yeah, that’s it. And that’s Alan’s whole leadership process. Somebody challenged Alan. You know what he said? I won’t go into the details but you can look up his network online. It’s a huge number. Somebody says “Alan, if somebody would ever pay you as a CEO millions of dollars just be a facilitator?” You know what he said?
Eddie Turner:
What’s that?
Dr. Goldsmith:
He said “No, maybe hundreds of millions.” He didn’t get paid millions. They’re going to get paid hundreds of millions. And you know what, when he left Ford, his personal check was, I think, 400 million dollars, he had the highest approval rating of any CEO in the United States from the employees in a union company. Think about this. The UAW, United Auto Workers, 97% approval for him as their CEO. They usually hate the CEO. And how about CEOs who make 400 million dollars? They really hate them. They love the guy.
Eddie Turner:
That says a lot.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Nicest guy in the world. I was on the phone with him today for an hour and a half “Nicest guy in the world.” He said “You know what, Marshall. It’s not about me.”
Eddie Turner:
Not about me. Not about the individual leader. It’s about those who we are leading.
Dr. Goldsmith:
If they’re leaders, it’s not just about them, either. It’s about the whole team that they’re working with.
Eddie Turner:
Yes, yes. Well, very well said.

So, Marshall, I could talk to you for hours but how would you summarize our conversation that we’ve had today.

Dr. Goldsmith:
Let me ask you a question. What’s your deepest learning from today?
Eddie Turner:
Well, number one, you really whet my appetite for what we have coming in at our annual meeting there for the first time that you’ve assembled all the MG100 but your coaching approach stands out. And I’m really looking forward to this process of combining your tremendous talent as the number one leadership coach with Alan Mullaly’s leadership skills. Those two coming together and merging sounds like an amazing marriage.
Dr. Goldsmith:
And now there is going to be a price for this, Eddie. You know what the price is? When you get old, what’s the price?
Eddie Turner:
I have to give it all away.
Dr. Goldsmith:
You have to give back to others.
Eddie Turner:
Yes. And that process has already started, sir.
Dr. Goldsmith:
That’s good. You’re a good honorary grandson.
Eddie Turner:
Yes, sir, granddad.

So, Marshall, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your time with me today and to be able to share with my listeners just a little bit more about you.

Dr. Goldsmith:
Thank you so much for inviting me. It’s great fun.
Eddie Turner:
Where can they learn more about you?
Dr. Goldsmith:
First, go to www.MarshallGoldsmith.com. I’ve got hundreds of videos and articles online. You mentioned LinkedIn. Just be a follower on LinkedIn. I have material online constantly there. Go to YouTube. I’ve got 3 million views of my stuff on YouTube. So, I’m not really hard to find.
Eddie Turner:
All right. So, we’re going to make sure we put all that in the show notes so folks can go ahead and get all those resources.
Dr. Goldsmith:
You can email at Marshall@MarshallGoldsmith.com.
Eddie Turner:
All right. We’ll make sure that’s in the show notes as well so folks can connect with you, become a follower if they’re not already, and continue to learn from the amazing Marshall Goldsmith.

Marshall, thanks again. I’ll see you in a couple of weeks, okay?

Dr. Goldsmith:
See you in a couple of weeks. And, by the way, out there there’s this guy Eddie. So, if you ever need to get help and somebody helping you out, I’m recommending you talk to this Eddie character because that’s part of his job now.
Eddie Turner:
It is. It is.
Dr. Goldsmith:
Thank you.
Eddie Turner:
Thank you, Marshall.

And thank you for listening. That concludes this episode, everyone. I’m Eddie Turner, The Leadership Excelerator®, reminding you that leadership is not about our title or our position. Leadership is an activity. Leadership is action. It’s not the case of once a leader, always a leader. 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 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.

Thank you for listening to C Suite Radio, turning the volume up on business.

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.