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Dr. Marshall Goldsmith World’s Number One Executive Coach

March 11, 2016

Dr. Marshall reveals his secret meditation that keeps him passionate

Anyone can have passion when times are good. It’s when times are hard that great leaders standout, and for great leaders it’s always showtime. Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is officially voted as world’s #1 executive coach, he coached over 150 of the top 500 global companies; he is the author of 35 books that sold multimillion copies including “What got you here wont get you there” and “Triggers.”We can dedicate a full episode just to list his accolades & credentials! However we love him for much more than that, because he is one of the most genuine people you will ever meet, he simply walks the talk or as he says it “Passion means leaders go first”He says, “ The greatest leaders I have ever met I have never seen them be downever!” And if you are in a job you do not like or a situation you did not choose passion comes from doing your best.He shares how there is a huge value for companies to invest in helping employees find passion because it increases engagement.This stands to be one of the richest of interviews till now so enjoy and share it with people you love, and while we are at it we would love to wish Dr. Marshall a very happy upcoming birthday on the 20th of March… We love you ;-)Until next episode, Live Passionately!Moustafa HamwiHello Everyone!! This is Moustafa & today on Passion Sundays we have an amazing surprise for you. Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, he is world’s No. 1 Executive Coach. But that’s not why he is here. He is here because he is very, very, very passionate. And the first question I am actually gonna ask him: Moustafa: So, Dr. Marshall, tell us how do you get all this passion.Marshall: Well, you know today you were there & I gave a nice talk in front of 300 people or so today & what are the most common questions I get is that: How do you have so much energy? People won’t say this but, “You are an old man, you have been flying on an aeroplane for 18 hours….Moustafa: Thank you for saying this so I don’t have to say. (Marshall: Yeah right) That’s what I’m thinkingMarshall: How do you get so much energy? Well before I speak I used to do a chant every day. It helps give me energy. Would you like to learn the chant?Moustafa: Oh god!! I am sure everybody would like to learn that.Marshall: Ok. Breathe…do your hands like this & the chant goes like this.Marshall:& Moustafa: There’s no business like show business like!! (Laughter together).Marshall: So, every day before I work I tell myself- “it’s show time?” Now I use this with my coaching clients.Moustafa: Love it!!Marshall: They are all CEOs of big companies. And sometimes they start whining- “Oh Poor me, jip jip jip jip jip”…So I always say- “have you ever been to a broadway play?” of course they say yes. I said- “Did you ever hear the actor say my foot hurts?” “I have a head ache?” “My aunt died last week?” No. It’s show time. And I always say- “you make about a 100 times what that kid is making every night.”Moustafa: True.Marshall: If they can get out their night, after night, after night, then they have passion.Moustafa: Yeah.Marshall: So can you.Moustafa: I love it.Marshall: Show time!!Moustafa: I love it!! Show time. So, ladies & Gents, Show time. Passionate people that’s all you got to say. So talking about passion now, I love that & I love how you used the example of the corporate world. So, how valuable is it for an organization & the leader to invest in finding passion in the company?Marshall: Well, I think No. 1 as a leader you have to lead by example. And if you want everyone else to be passionate & committed & dedicated & motivated, go first! Go first! The greatest leaders I have met; I have never seen them be down. Ever. They’ve always demonstrated passion. The two of my favorites, Adam Lawley who was ranked as the 3rd greatest leader in the world last year in Fortune Magazine entirely turned around the Ford Motor Company, CEO of ----- in the United States. Frances Hesselbein (02:41) head of the Girl Scouts, Peter Drucker (02:43) the greatest leader I’ve ever met. Wearing the Presidential Medal of Freedom….. I’ve known Frances probably 30 something years and Alan 25 years. I’ve never seen either one of them be down once.Moustafa: Amazing.Marshall: You know why?Moustafa: Why?Marshall: It’s show time.Moustafa: It’s show time. I love it.Marshall: I was with the Alan after 9/11. You have to realize at that time he was running Boeing Commercial Aircraft. How awful is this? 9/11!! The phone is ringing off the hook! Orders cancelling every second. The airplane he loved was used to kill people. It’s awful. Next day what did he say? Show time. For the great leader he said this is what I get paid for. Anybody can have passion when times are good, it’s when times are hard that’s when the great leaders stand out.Moustafa: And how valuable is it for a company to invest in helping employees find their own personal passions not business passions?Marshall: Well, I think there’s huge value! My friend, Jim Kouzes did a big study. And he found the connection between values and engagement. And what he found out is the key is not does the company have stated values, every company has stated values. It’s can you live your own values? Or in your terminology, can you find your own passion. Not that somebody give it to you but can you find it yourself? The people have said I can live my values every day we are highly engaged. The people said I cannot live my values are not highly engaged.Moustafa: Dr. Marshall, what I like about you is you are very real. So, here’s a tricky question – You know living in Dubai is beautiful but it’s challenging. It’s very expensive, you need to be sponsored by a company. It has a lot of Pros and Cons. So if I am in a job but it is not really my passion but I cannot leave that job. I have a family. What do I do?Marshall: Well, the one thing I teach and talked about in my book Triggers is everyday challenge yourself with 6 questions and these are called active questions. And I’ll begin with did I do my best too? And set clear goals. Did I do my best to set clear goals for myself? Did I do best to make progress? Did I do my best make progress for achieving my goals? Did I do my best to find meaning? Did I do my best to be happy? Did I do my best to build positive relationships and did I do my best to be fully engaged? Now research on this is pretty amazing. When people do this every day, engagement scores goes up, everything goes up. Well, the one thing in life I can always do is my best and what I teach people is you’re there anyway. It’s your life. You can be a victim, a martyr, a “poor me, isn’t life terrible?” Who loses? You lose. Or you can say I am gonna create happiness, I am gonna create meaning, I am gonna do my best to create this. And you are the winner. I am sure you have been on this flight, 2 flight lieutenants- one positive, motivated, upbeat, enthusiastic, one is negative, bitter, angry and cynical. It is a 3 hour flight. Who is the real loser on the 3-hour flight? Well, the customers’ kind of the loser, the companys’ kind of the loser, but the deepest loser is the flight attendant. Why? Three hours of that human being’s life has been spent in misery. When I teach this to people, I say this is great to do for the company and it’s great to do it for the customer and it is better to do for youMoustafa: I love that! You see. it’s all about finding your passion in your current situation. Passion is not sitting outside, Passion is something that you’ve got inside of you and really awesome. I love your passion and energy. I am gonna probably conclude with one more question about coaching because I also liked how you talked about the mirror example. But I like about your coaching style is that you’re very in your face. It is like what you talked about holding a mirror in front of a person’s face, they see reality. And I love that too. That’s my style. So, what do you think? Should coaches be either this or that?Marshall: Well, I think everyone is different. So, I try not to make judgmental comments about everybody else’s approach. My approach of coaching is very straightforward. I give people confidential feedback on what everybody thinks of them. Then, in my coaching I don’t get paid if my clients don’t get better. So, to me as a coach if you have a problem and I have an idea to help you, why wouldn’t I tell you? Why should I sit there and play some silly guessing game where I keep asking “how you feel long enough” and eventually, you guess what I am trying to say, which to me just seems ridiculous. My clients don’t like to waste time. The cause to my clients in hiring me is their time. So, I am incredibly time-sensitive. In my coaching there is no arguing …. (07:05) Everything is either required or optional. The required is they must get confidential feedback, they must talk to people about what they learn, they must apologize for their mistakes and lets follow-up on regular basis and they must get measured. But, If they don’t want to do that, I don’t criticize them, I just don’t work with them. After that it is all optional, it’s called feet forward. I give them ideas all the time and I’ll tell them- “From here on in it’s feet forward. If you can use it, use it. If you can’t use it, shut up, say thank you and don’t argue.Moustafa: I love that! Thank you very much for this amazing smile and this beautiful energy.Both: Passion!What do you think? If you’d like to stay engaged subscribe to our social media channels and if you want even more valuable interviews and tips and tricks on how to live passionately then go to and subscribe to our Passion Sundays newsletter.Until the next episode, live passionately!Moustafa Hamwi

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Moustafa Hamwi - Keynote Speaker, Coach, Author