I’ve been going to Gazelles Growth and Leadership Summits for over 7 years now.  Seen Collins, Buckingham, Peters, Lencioni, all the best gurus.  They didn’t hold a candle to Marshall Goldsmith.  His understanding of the personal dynamics of leaders and what gets in their way was profound, deep, and practical, all at the same time.

We’ll be doing his book, What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There, some time this fall at the In-Synk Business Book Club.  Stay tuned.

Marshall is a coach to the top executives/leaders of the world.  On top of that he is an effective speaker and facilitator.  Speaking to close to 500 people, he connected with everyone as if you were the only person in the room.  And besides style, he had content.  Here are some of his gems:

–“Stop doing” as a leadership tool.  Leaders need to stop doing a number of things they do that they think is leading.  Many of the things you did to get into the leadership position you find yourself in, are no longer valuable when you lead.  They get in the way.  Must stop doing them.

–Stop judging, stop critiquing.  You are here to help.  “I am here to help”

–“The more successful we become the more delusional we become.  Delusional people are happy.”

–Top three most conceited professions in the world.  Medical Doctors, Pilots, Jesuit Priests,  followed by FBI agent.  The conceit of these people isn’t necessarily bad.

–#1 problem of leaders–They have won too much. 
–#2 They try to add too much value
–#3 they tell people how smart they are
–#4 they pass judgement
–#5 they play favorites and don’t admit it

–Can’t effectively coach someone if they themselves aren’t motivated to change.

–The Feed Forward Process
1.  No Feedback on the past. Can’t change that.  Let go of it.
2. Cannot Judge ideas–Listen w/o judging
3. Learn –as much as you can
4.  Help as much as you can

–Leadership is a Contact Sport

–No follow up = No Change
–Little Follow up = Little Change
–Lots of Follow up = Lots of Chanbge
–Consistent Periodic Follow Up = Great Changes

–It’s always going to be crazy
–Keep it simple, focused , fast.

–The bigger the org gets the simpler things need to be to work or get better.

–One you pass 40, whining about parents is stupid.

–Leadership is showtime.  Have to be Authentic

–Worst three words an leader can use–“No,” “But,” “However.” Eliminate them from your vocabulary. 

–If you are debating between conscience and goal–Pick the conscience.

“Goal Obsession” undermines the mission of the organization.  Commit to a goal to wholeheartedly you turn your brain and heart off.  And those of those around you.  This is very bad.  (this was the best insight of the entire speech, he demonstrated it to all of us.  We all drove right in and proved him right.)

If you ever have the chance to listen to Marshall Goldsmith, or read one of his books or articles, do not pass go, do it directly.

How’s that for an endorsement?