2011 Ranking: #7
Winner: 2011 Thinkers50 Leadership Award
Marshall Goldsmith is one of the world's leading executive coaches. He was a pioneer of the 360-degree feedback technique. His success is built on a no-nonsense approach to leaders and leadership and a Buddhist philosophy.
Over the years, Goldsmith has maintained a prodigious output as author, co-author, and editor, of more than 30 books. These include The Leader of the Future (co-edited with Frances Hesselbein and Richard Beckhard, 1996), which has been translated into 25 languages, and What Got You Here – Won’t Get You There (co-authored with Mark Reiten, 2007).
The follow-up was MOJO: How to Get It, How to Keep It, and How to Get It Back If You Lose It (with Mark Reiter, 2010). Our Mojo is "the moment when we do something that's purposeful, powerful, and positive and the rest of the world recognizes it". It is influenced by four factors, identity, achievement, reputation and acceptance.
Goldsmith’s own Mojo seems indefatigable. He originally got into the executive coaching business by accident. A CEO of a large organization mentioned an employee that he didn't think lived the organization's values, and Goldsmith offered to help on a no improvement, no fee basis. It worked.
For Goldsmith, executive coaching is not a brief interaction. Instead it is a longer-term commitment to work with an executive and their team, to find out how that person is viewed and provide feedback, which can be worked into a coaching program.
A partner in Marshall Goldsmith Group, a group of top-rank executive and management coaches, Goldsmith focuses on three things "teaching, coaching and writing." A long time Buddhist, Goldsmith tries, where possible, to use Buddha's teachings in his work.
Goldsmith received his MBA from Indiana University and his doctorate from UCLA. Between 1976 and 2000 he was assistant professor and associate dean in the business college of Loyola Marymount College, Los Angeles. Since then he has taught executive education at Dartmouth College’s Tuck Business School and other leading universities.