Leadership (Part I): Marshall Goldsmith Speaks at 2nd Sands Leadership Lecture

By: Tonya

As I travel back from the Forte Foundation 2008 MBA Women’s Conference in New York City I can’t help but think about all of the inspirational women business leaders I met over the last three days. These women have risen to the top in their chosen professions and are presidents, “chairmen,” CFO’s, and CEO’s. Leadership is that intangible force that we all strive for in business. For example the Forte Foundation focuses on directing talented women towards leadership roles in business, and our slogan at Simon is “Where Thinkers Become Leaders.” So, I have decided to focus my next couple of blogs on leadership . . . what is leadership and how does a person become a leader?

If leadership is defined as “working with and through others to achieve objectives,” it makes sense that many companies are stepping up to the challenge of leadership development. One approach companies have taken is executive coaching. In May the Simon School hosted the 2nd Sands Leadership Lecture, featuring Marshall Goldsmith, “Corporate America’s Preeminent Executive Coach.” Goldsmith is an authority in “helping successful leaders get even better.” He has been invited to work with over 80 major CEOs and their management teams and is the author of, ‘What Got You Here Won’t Get You There,’ a New York Times best seller.

Goldsmith told the standing room only audience that it is not enough to focus on what we should do to be a successful leader, but we should be looking at what we shouldn’t do just as well. He discussed the 5 annoying habits that can hold us back in our careers, they include: (1) winning too much; (2) adding too much value; (3) telling the world how smart we are; (4) “I already knew that;” and (5) passing judgment. In order to develop as a leader we need to do the following: ask, listen, think, thank, respond, involve, change, and follow-up. We should always be asking ourselves how we can get better. He offered the following advice: Be happy now, value your friends and family, follow your dreams, and life is short so enjoy it! I agree Marshall!

Goldsmith shares his coaching advice online at www.marshallgoldsmithlibrary.com. He says he is always happy to share what he has learned, so feel free to visit his site. Stay tuned for my next blog on my attendance at the Forte Foundation 2008 MBA Women’s Conference in New York City!

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