Marshall Goldsmith: Secrets to Coaching Billion Dollar CEO’s – Podcast Notes

Marshall Goldsmith (interview at 16:50), reveals his secrets for coaching billion dollar company CEO’s. He is ranked as one of the 15 most influential business thinkers in the world and America’s preeminent executive coach. Aleks outlines how the online world is changing our brain (4:49), the modern science of learning and how to avoid distraction (8:50), his 5 step positive appraisal feedback process (31:01), offers an amazing fantasy gift (46:12) and more.


Marshall Goldsmith executive coach

Marshall Goldsmith executive coach

Priming Question (to consider as you listen to show or read notes)

In order to become a better (x), how will I change what isn’t working well for me at the moment and who can give me honest and credible advice about improving in this area as well?

4:49 – Re-wiring brain

This story comes out of THE INDEPENDENT – a British newspaper and the headline is…

Third of parents believe web ‘rewires’ brain

More than a third of parents believe the internet has the power to ‘rewire’ brains without a person’s knowledge…
One in three believe their children are in danger from the web, and (80%) believe it is possible to become addicted to social networking forums such as Facebook and Twitter.

The findings, however go against the neurological evidence, according to the organisation which carried out the poll, the Nominet Trust, which promotes internet projects that address social disadvantage.

The director of the Nominet Trust, then goes on to say the internet is a force for good and they fund projects that help people get online, be safe online, and change their world for the better. Exaggerated fears about internet use can potentially deny its benefits to those most in need.

On the flip side, we’ve got Nicholas Carr – who wrote a book called ‘The Shallows’ and speaks about the risks of internet use.

Central to his arguments is an experiment by the American psychologist Gary Small, who took a group of people who hadn’t used the internet before and found that spending a week on the web triggered major activity in the dorsalateral prefrontal cortex, an area which is regarded as the decision-making and problem-solving part of the brain.
Now he acknowledges that making regular decisions does keep parts of the mind sharp. But what concerns him is that, while the dorsalateral prefrontal cortex is in a frenzy of electrical pulses, other parts of the brain go into abeyance (in other words, they become a lot less active). In particular, the areas involved in the consolidation of thoughts and their transfer into long-term memory.

Aleks’ Response:
We all tend to be mostly ignorant about our learning. To ‘rewire’ brains without a person’s knowledge is called unconscious learning and that’s how we all learn. We learn unconsciously first

“80% believe it is possible to become addicted to social networking forums.” This is not surprising as we can be addicted to anything.

Findings go against the neurological evidence of brain changing, according to the organisation which carried out the poll. However, how much neurological evidence did they gather – a poll by its very definition cannot gather neurological evidence.

KEY POINTS: Everything re-wires your brain – the younger you are – the more re-wiring and faster re-wiring because you are developing.

ANYTHING – can become an addiction – just like anything can become a phobia… – think of anything, someone somewhere in the world has a phobia of it, or a possible addiction to it.
Debatable: The people who conducted the poll have a vested interest – funded by Nominet – an internet domain registration company (not independent).

So – is the internet ‘changing our brains’? – OF COURSE IT IS… for better or for worse, that depends on how it is used.
If you want to create something of value – like writing a book, or a report or planning any sort of project, no matter how big or small… internet searching is a great way to gather potentially relevant information fast.

Now – because there is so much information out there, having the ‘new age of the internet’ ability to scan through information quickly and find what is potentially relevant and what isn’t is a very valuable skill.
But then that’s it, once you have your information – YOU’RE DONE – unless you feel you’ve missed something in your research, the internet should be off for all remaining stages of your project.

THIS IS WHERE people make there big mistake… they leave their internet ON and get distracted by the constant flow of information, facebook, twitter, emails, games, aps, pop up ads, videos, news headlines, songs, coupons, shopping deals, chat discussions with 3 people at the same time – ALL THESE DISTRACTIONS are available at all times – and so if you keep getting distracted, you can never fully concentrate on the specific project at hand.

Over time you will adapt to this constant stimulus and learn how to complete your projects, but your creations will be more shallow, less informative at a deeper structural level, simply because you never reached a deeper level of your own thoughts and understanding when working on them.

In fact it’s quite likely that if you work on something this way, even though you may complete the task, you yourself will not have stored much of what you have been working on in your long-term memory because you never had the chance to focus on it properly and examine what you are doing from several angles without distraction.
Here’s the other big problem. Distractions destroy flow.

Essentially – flow is a peak performance experience where incredible amounts of productivity and creativity flow out of you. We’ve all felt flow before, where whatever we were working on or doing became effortless and our results became exceptional. This state of exhilaration, achievement and creation requires a singular focus to occur.

So by all means, use the power of the internet to gather information quickly, but once you’ve got what you need, turn it off, remove all other distractions and GET TO WORK – and continue through all the other stages of your project one by one – with NO OTHER distractions until it or the sub-goal you have set is DONE!

16:50 – Interview with Marshall Goldsmith – 10 minutes – Full transcript in Destiny Defining Decisions sample chapter. Available to people on the mailing list. What you learn is below.

• His extremely simple and highly powerful coaching
• How to use the input of others to bring out the best in
your clients and yourself
• Why he rejects many very high-paying client offers
• Ways to inspire others to seek and enjoy career-
enhancing feedback processes
• Why positive, simple, focused, and fast strategies are the key
to coaching high-level people.

5 step positive appraisal feedback process (31:01) – Full transcript in Destiny Defining Decisions book.

The Positive Appraisal Process Steps
1. List positive events
2. Give Examples
3. Always Use Empowering Language
4. Find Agreement
5. Future Focused Integration

46:12 – Fantasy Gift – 360 Degree Magic Mirror – Full transcript in Destiny Defining Decisions.

Challenge of the week

This week’s challenge – is all about giving positive and empowering feedback. Using the previous steps outlined and discussed to practice giving a person you know positive feedback. Choose someone who would be open to this process. Just tell them that you are practicing a new feedback technique. It could be with anyone, co-staff, a client, a partner, a child, it doesn’t really matter, just give it a go and see how it works for you and for them. I think you will be very pleasantly surprised with the results.


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