The Future Leadership of Modern Management

- Leadership

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by Sam, Management 3.0

At Management 3.0 we’re big fans of Marshall Goldsmith. Someone whose mission is to help successful people achieve positive, lasting behavioural change for themselves and their teams. With four decades of experience, Goldsmith works with CEOs and executives to overcome limiting beliefs in order to achieve greater success.

Several years ago he spoke with our own Jurgen Appelo about how he does this (see below). In this post we wanted to delve deeper into Goldsmith’s main philosophies and share more of his ideas. Here are just a few:

#1 Goldsmith Great Idea: Daily Questions

Every morning Goldsmith pays someone to call him and ask him 32 questions. These questions represent behaviour that is important but easy to neglect, he says. He puts the questions into an excel sheet and answers ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Here are some examples He answers questions starting with: Did I do my best to…?

  • Set clear goals?
  • Make progress toward goal achievement?
  • Be happy?
  • Find meaning?
  • Build positive relationships?
  • Be fully engaged?

Asking daily questions helps make changes feel manageable!

#2 Goldsmith Great Idea: Feed Forward

Giving and receiving feedback has long been considered an essential skill for leaders and it’s also something so many people shy away from. Goldsmith says that traditional feedback from leaders comes in the form of suggestions for improvement, innovative ideas for new products and services and input on their leadership styles. This information is focused on the past and is “limited” and static as opposed to expansive and dynamic,” he said. As a result Goldsmith pushes a tactic called Feedforward.

Here’s how the exercise works:

  • Choose to change one behavior to make a positive difference in your life
  • Describe this behavior to others
  • Ask for two suggestions for achieving a positive change in the behavior
  • Listen to suggestions and take notes without commenting on them. You can’t say ANYTHING!
  • Thank others for their suggestions
  • Ask others what they would like to change

You can also do this by asking others how you think you could do better using the same framework. This creates the space for constructive feedback where people can give advice for the future and not dwell on the past. It’s regarded as being more productive in helping people achieve goals.

#3 Goldsmith Great Idea: What Got You Here Won’t Get you There

This isn’t one great idea, it’s an entire book of great ideas. What Got you Here Won’t Get You There is by far one of the best development, growth and leadership books and it’s chalk full of incredible insights. It’s hard to pick out the best idea from this book because the whole thing is geared towards helping us break down self-limiting beliefs, preconceived notions we have about life and human interactions and becoming the best versions of ourselves.

For more Marshall Goldsmith insights check out his insightful discussion with our very own Jurgen Appelo


Photo: Steinar Engeland (Unsplash)

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