002: Marshall Goldsmith, Conversation 1: If there’s a chance you can help, help. Full transcript
Hi. This is Joshua Spodek and this is Leadership and the Environment. You’re not the only one who cares about your impact enough to act. You’re part of a global community undeterred by people saying, â€œIf others don’t change first, then what I do doesn’t matter,â€ and other excuses. We’ve read the science. We can do this.
This show is about personal responsibility, acting and improving your life by your values as guest after guest says, â€œThe challenge was hard. But thank you for getting me to do it. I wish I’d done it earlier.â€ Listen on for leaders to inspire you, hear their struggles and then act. Go to joshuaspodek.com/podcast to commit to a public personal challenge of your own. You’re not alone and you don’t have to wait for others.
Welcome to my conversation with Marshall Goldsmith. I believe he does not need introduction. You can find out so much about him online. He’s number one in so many things being an author, being a coach, things like that. I’ve known him for over a decade and he’s been one of my great inspirations as well as one of my mentors. So I hope thatâ€¦ That begins a bit congratulatory on my part but I think it also leads him to share some things that you don’t get just by reading his books or by watching his videos. He talks about the evolution of his 100 Coaches Program. He actually doesn’t mention this but the selfie that he talks about, I actually was the one holding the camera at his apartment when I suggested, â€œJust record something first.â€ So Iâ€™m kind of happy about.
If you like reaching number one and you think you have to be very competitive or jerk to do it, he is the opposite of that. He has reached the highest levels of being a great friendly approachable guy and you get to hear about him, his role models, his attitude on leadership and others, the differences between theory and acting and he gives you some exercises to work with. So I think you’ll get equal parts of leadership and the environment here. So let’s take it away.
Joshua: Hello and welcome to the Leadership and the Environment podcast. This is Joshua Spodek. I’m here with Marshall Goldsmith. Marshal, how are you?
Marshal: Iâ€™m doing wonderful. Thank you for inviting me.
Joshua: You’re always doing wonderful. I’m happy to have invited you and thank you very much for being here.
Marshal: Happy to join you. Iâ€™ve always had fun in everything we’ve done together.
Joshua: Yeah. And you have been one of the larger influences on me and you’ve played instrumental roles at various stages along the way of bringing this podcast into being part of it just your casual coaching me as we have interacted with each other. You’ve also been instrumental in me getting started some of the practices that have led me to start this podcast. I would enumerate them but there’s too many. Iâ€™d thank you but I’m going to keep thank you anyway.
Marshal: Thank you.
Joshua: So I’m really curious about something that you recentlyâ€¦ I think the last time we were in person it was at your place and you were thinking about starting your 100 Coaches Program or I think it was 15 Coaches at the time.
Joshua: And here’s what I remember. You said, and I’m not going to be able to say this asâ€¦When I say it’s not going to sound like it did with you because I don’t know how to sound humble talking about amazing things like you. But you said, â€œI’ve been a number one bestseller, Iâ€™ve been voted number one as a coach, number one all these different things and now I got to start thinking of what comes next because there’s no more up from one.â€ And you were thinking about getting a bunch of people together and passing on all that you’ve learned in your career, in your story career, and I kept thinking, â€œOh, people have done that. That’s like a common thing. A lot of people have done that.â€ No, you took your cue from the Buddha. I thought there have been people since him but I don’t think that’s been the case.
Marshal: Not so many.
Joshua: How did things go? Iâ€™d love to hear how it went, how it felt for you, if there are other people who followed in your footsteps.
Marshal: Well, this is a fun idea. So what happened is I went into a program that was put on by Ayse Birsel. Ayse Birsel is one of the top 15 designers in the world. She’s a great friend of mine. I think you’ve had a chance to meet her. She’s a wonderful person.
Joshua: Yeah, I was there at that event.
Marshal: Oh, you were at the event? So you were there. Remember she did a program on who were your heroes? So I write down my heroes and they were all very generous people who were very great teachers. [Alan Malawi], [Princess Helsel Bond], Peter Drucker, Buddha, all great teachers and none of them ever charged me any money. And then she said, â€œWell, why are you not being more like them?â€ So I thought yeah, that’s nice, I should be more like them. So I am a very generous person anyway. I give everything away. But I thought I could be more like them. I decided I am going to adopt, 15 people teach them everything I know for free and the only price is when they get old, they do the same thing, pay it forward.
So I made this selfie video, take this sort of backstory and video which was fun. So I made a selfie video. So in the selfie video I just said, â€œI get ranked number one leadership thinker, number one coach. Time for me to give back. I want to give everything away to 15 people. If you’re interested, let me know.â€ It was the most widely viewed video in the history of LinkedIn.
Now here’s a funny story. One of the reasons it was most widely viewed video in the history of LinkedIn is I made a mistake. I forgot to put in a link. So everybody kept commenting, they kept saying, â€œHow do I apply?â€ Then, of course, I had somebody reply to them all of these comments just feed the video over and over and over again. It became the most widely viewed video in the history of LinkedIn largely because I forgot to put in a link. So that was amazing. So I end up withâ€¦ Well, by now I’m over 14000 applicants for these positions, I decide to expand it to 100 coaches so I’ve adopted 55 to start with. I’m going to adopt another 45 more.
And it’s been wonderful. A lot of five of the top 50 business thinkers in the world. I’ve got all kinds of different people and I really try and get a lot of diversity from that people from I donâ€™t know 15 or 20 different countries already. And the only negative feedback I’ve gotten, because the Internet you are going to get criticized for something, it’s pretty hard to knock this, it’s about 99% positive feedback, nice old man, he gives away everything. So it’s hard to criticize but the only criticism I got is the people that I’ve selected are so high up the food chain is found to give other people a chance you haven’t had so many opportunities. So now we’re going to adopt another 100 people called 100 Aspiring Coaches who maybe are not quite so famous and maybe from developing countries or whatever. and give them a chance. So I thought that was a nice idea.
Joshua: This sounds really amazing. I can’t tell who’s getting more out of it. I mean I feel like they are but I feel like you’re getting a lot out of it too.
Marshal: Oh, I think I’m getting a lot out of it and it’s great fun. For me it’s been very interesting. Gives me an opportunity to interact with a lot of really neat people and I thought would I rather teach a class with 25 people who are highly motivated and enthusiastic and gung ho and smart for free or a bunch of people who donâ€™t care and get paid a lot? And I thought really just work with the ones for free and you do care. So in that sense it’s been a whole lot of fun.
Joshua: And you mentioned people like [Alan Walali] and others thatâ€¦ Are people following in your footsteps to also share everything that they’ve learned and everything that they practiced?
Marshal: Well, [Alan Walali] is a great case study. Alan has personally donated six hours of his time the first two sessions I’ve done for the coaches himself. By the way, his normal fee when you hire him is 15000 dollars a day for a speech. He did this for free for one night plus six hours the next day. Jim Kim is the president of World Bank, he’s donating his time, Francis is donating her time. So I’ve got incredible people who are donating their time just to help out the cause.
Joshua: And do I hear a trend starting or other people are going to be not just contributing and helping you but doing it on their own with theirâ€¦
Marshal: Well, that’s the deal.
Joshua: Of course, yeah, they’re all going to be it.
Marshal: And that’s the deal and the commitment that they’ve all made is they’re going to be doing the same thing. And so it’s very exciting. And I think they’re all doing it in different ways already. Many of them have already started doing it. And so it’s kind of a nice excuse to do something nice for somebody. The way I look at it is look what Bill Gates is doing with money. He’s basically giving away all his money, even his kids, I think 10 million bucks apiece which amounts next to nothing for him. He’s given away 99% of everything to poor people.
And it’s really nice and he’s inspired other people to do the same thing. Warren Buffett is doing the same thing, Mark Zuckerbergâ€™s doing something, a lot of people are doing the same thing, which is really, to me, I think admirable. I donâ€™t think he gets credited enough for it. Well in a way what I’m doing is a lot easier. When you give somebody money, you don’t still have the money. But the knowledge you still have the knowledge, you havenâ€™t lost anything. So you really you’re giving something away, in a way you’re not giving it away. You still have it. You’re just sharing it.
Joshua: Yeah, it’s reminds me of I think Thomas Jefferson’s analogy about ideas that when I light a candle with my candle, my candleâ€™s still lit. It sounds like that.
Marshal: Thatâ€™s right. Exactly. Great analogy.
Joshua: Credit to Thomas Jefferson. OK. So even with as many people as you’re serving this way most people listening arenâ€™t going to get into it. Is this stuff going online? Is there going to be videos made that are released? Anything like that.
Marshal: I put everything online. I give away videos every week. All my material you can copy, share, download, duplicate using church, charity business, non-profit. All my stuffâ€™s online all the time.
Joshua: OK. Yeah I get all the top 50 stuff and I get plenty of stuff from you.
Marshal: My new book, don’t quote me on this, but I guess you are going to quote me since it is on radio, but my new book is going to be called Stakeholders Centered Leadership. And my new book isâ€¦ I’m going to make it available for free.
Joshua: Wow. Online?
Marshal: It’s online for free and I will try to get it printed out as inexpensively as possible. Because some people do like to buy books and Iâ€™ll just charge it basically for printing costs plus shipping.
Joshua: This isâ€¦ I feel like you’re on the forefront of a lot of things. Like I wrote an Inc. article about your 15 Coaches, at the time I think it was. And I said how to go up from number one because this whole thing started with you saying â€œThere’s nowhere to go after number oneâ€ and I feel like you’re being more number one. I’m not trying to flatter you here. I just feel like it’s like in the rankings you already, an Amazon or Wall Street Journal reviews or whatever you can’t go past number one, and so you like changing the game. And youâ€™re doing it again. Is this something that just seems natural to you or is it… I mean, what’s going on here? Are you just having fun?
Marshal: Yeah, basically just having fun and also just thinking â€œWhy not?â€ And it’s counter-intuitive, as you said it â€œDoesn’t everybody do this? Not so much really. I mean how many Wall Street, how many New York Times bestselling authors are giving books away? And there’s not thousands of them I don’t think. And how many people give away all of their material online? Certainly not everybody. So most people in fact they are the opposite. Most people don’t want anybody to get their material for free.
Joshua: I really struggled. I was sure when I spoke to you about it before that many people had done it. I mean it just felt like how could this idea not have been done before? And I just couldn’t come up with anyone.
Marshal: Well if you look at me the extreme positive example for me, I’m just speaking for me, I’m not making a valuable judgment for others, is Buddha. And what would Buddha do? I mean Buddha 2600 years ago there was no Internet, there was no written language sort of to comprehend that, there was no written language, there was no Internet, there was no written language, Buddha spoke. 2600 years ago he said something was so profound it impacted me 2600 years later â€œTraveling through time, space, language, culture, everything.â€ I mean how deep is that?
Well, how did he do it? He just shared everything with people and then they shared with others and they shared with others. So kind of that’s the way he did it. And it’s just an amazing, amazing, amazing story and it feels like, say Peter Drucker. Peter Drucker taught me so many things. And Peter Drucker in a way is dead but in a way he is not dead, he is alive. Because I always use his material all the time. I am not Peter Drucker, I’m not going to be Peter Drucker. On the other hand, I use what he taught me all the time. So as long as I’m alive in a way he’s alive. So in the same way I don’t expect him to be some junior version of me, that’s not the goal here. Everybody should be themselves. On the other hand, if I can teach them something they can then share with others or in some way use with others, then I’m still alive.
Joshua: So I’m thinking about when what you’re doing is having people to come to a location and you teach them, you share with them. But I feel like what you’re describing now is youâ€¦. What’s the value inside ofâ€¦ I’m sure thereâ€™s more than one, is it leaving a legacy, is it teaching, is it sharing, is itâ€¦.
Marshal: Well, also if you look at our coaching process people get better. And if your leader becomes better, your life is better, you’re happier with the people around, you have better lives, you probably are better at home, itâ€™s a good thing. And so until the [13:09] people do this, the world gets a little better. And again I’m not going toâ€¦. As I’ve grown older I’m not going to cure cancer, I’m not going to solve global warming, I’m not going to do really any macro level things, Iâ€™m not going to make much difference there, maybe some small amount but not too much. So what can I do?
Well, if one person sends me an email and says, â€œMy life’s a little better because of something I did or said or put online or read or whatever,â€ I’m declaring victory, itâ€™s good enough.
Joshua: So it’s making the world a better place, making people better?
Marshal: A little bit. And it I didn’t have to be a lot.
Joshua: Very simple. So I’m going to pick up on something you said there because this podcast is called Leadership and the Environment. You mentioned global warming. Now, you said you’re not going to solve it. I don’t think I’m going to solve it all by myself either. But I want to talk aboutâ€¦
Marshal: Let me tell you what I am doing though. I am the coach of the CEO of the Nature Conservancy for free.
Joshua: How’s it going?
Marshal: Very good. And he is working on that. I’m also the coach of the CEO of the World Bank Dr. Jim Kim. He’s working on that. So although I’m not going to do it myself, what I can do is do what I do and coach others who are in this world. That to me is a way I can make a difference.
Feeling inspired? Do you like hearing others acting that you’re not alone? Go to joshuaspodek.com/podcast to hear other interviews. But even more valuable, join the growing community of people who care enough to act, not just talk. Read the list of people who’ve taken on personal challenges and then commit to one yourself. Don’t be surprised if you end up loving it, changing more and finding people following you without you even trying. That’s what happens when you improve your life by living by your values.
Joshua: I think I might give you another chance on this podcast to do something different. Also not a huge, huge thing but modest but I think a non-zero fact. In fact, what I’ve learned from you, from even before I met you because in business school I was assigned to read The New Yorker article about you and one of the big things it said is that, you can correct me if I set too far off, but it was psychologist maybe do a lot of analysis but you’re about making things better. We can’t change the past. We can act in the present to change the future. And I’m really glad that there are scientists studying global warming. But we can’t change the past but we can do something about what’s happening now. I don’t hear a lot of people actually choosing to change themselves. I see a lot of people pointing fingers and a lot of people trying to pass laws.
Marshal: Well let me give you my thoughts on global warming. This is kind of off topic for me so please accept I’m not an expert at all. On the other hand, let me give you my logic on it. Are you ready?
Marshal: Now to me I think both sides on global warming we totally screw up their communication. The people that believe in global warming demean the people who disagree with them. They treat them like idiots and fools. And they can’t communicate that they’re are a bunch of idiot losers. That really does not help anything. On the other hand the other side is almost as bad that these people are all in essence communists or something, right? So that doesn’t help either. So you get two sides of people engaging in what I call echo chamber behavior. They are both sitting there talking to people who totally agree with them and they’re just repeating what they say over and over again as if it matters.
Let me give my view on global warming. Letâ€™s assume and this is just an assumption, there is a 10 percent chance that manmade activity is significant contributor into something that we can call global climate change, global warming, whatever, and that the consequences of this are very, very negative. 10 percent chance. Not 100 percent chance and 90 percent chance, let’s say there’s a 10 percent chance only. To me the way you act is if there’s a 10 percent chance is exactly the same when you act as if there’s 100 percent chance. Now let’s assume Josh, you got into a car and there’s a 10 percent chance your breaks are going to go out and you die. Would you do something about it?
Marshal: Of course you would. Well, you see what I mean? That’s the way I look at global warming. I mean I think almost any rational person would say there is a 10 percent chance this is real. I mean biases are not even a 10 percent chance, you might change them anyway. They’re so far gone. You are not going to change them anyway. But if you say there’s a 10 percent chance that it’s real, to me you would act exactly the same way as if there was a 90 percent chance it’s real. You would still engage in behavior designed to eliminate this risk. Am I making sense?
Joshua: Yeah, I agree. Yes.
Marshal: So this is what I call the 10 percent solution to global warming. And why are the pro global warming the climate activists are almost as bad to me in many cases as the climate deniers? Because it takes some micro level event and say, â€œWell, gee. it’s cold in Chicago. Global warming. It’s hot in Chicago. Global warming.â€ They sound like idiots. To me, I have a degree in math, they just sound like idiots. Wait you can’t say it’s cold in Chicago when your [18:13] global warming, it’s hot the next year because of the global warming, itâ€™s like a moron.
Why don’t they just say, â€œLook, there’s a lot of scientific evidence that indicates this isnâ€™t real. We can’t take any micro level event and make some grandiose claims based on any of that. On the other hand, we can say there is a real chance that this is a real thing and it’s real bad. So we should deal with it now. And don’t demean everyone else. They;; say, â€œWell, there’s a chance it’s not real.â€ OK. Maybe you’re right. Maybe it isn’t. So what? There is a chance that is. And as long as there’s a chance it has huge negative consequences itâ€™s something we should deal with.
Joshua: I’m hearing from, you and correct me if I’m wrong, that your perspective is a varied leadership perspective because you’re looking at the people and how they communicate and how theyâ€™re affecting each other right. What’s working, what’s not working. And the science, it looks pretty solid but there’s always doubt, every scientist will say that. And it does sound like there’s a bit of passion in your voice about this.
Marshal: I think as a citizen of the earth it’s something we should be concerned about. And it is real. It’s again, let’s assume going back to my 10 percent number. To me, if you think there’s a 10 percent chance or if you think there’s a 90 percent chance, it doesn’t matter. You should do something about it either way. And by the way, the strategy whether it’s a 10 percent chance or a 90 percent chance, is not much different.
Joshua: So I want to offer you, what I’m doing on this podcast is to invite the guest at your option to take on a personal challenge. And there’s a few things that I put into it is that one, that it doesn’t have to solve everything overnight because so many people think, â€œWell, if it doesn’t solve everything, why should I do anything?â€ So it does not have to do that. And it can be temporary. But it has to be something that, and it can’t be something that you’re already doing and it can’t be something that you’re telling someone else to do. But something that you thought would fit with a value of yours to lower yourâ€¦And it can be greenhouse effect but it can also be pollution. Because even if you don’t believe in greenhouse effect you don’t want mercury in your fish and you don’t want litter on the sidewalk. And there’s resource depletion and things like that. Would you be interested or willing to take on a personal challenge, however temporary? And it doesn’t have to be a big thing.
Marshal: Yeah, I have thought about this so let me give you what I think I can do. To me, the best use of my time is to do something where I’m an expert. Not to quote [20:44]. So I think the best thing I could do is find another person who is really a leader in this area and help that person become more effective. That’s where I can add value far more than I can add value by some tiny little things.
Joshua: Well I’ll tell you that one of the things that I’m finding is thatâ€¦ There is a lot of people out there saying here’s just one little thing you can do and some people say lots of little things add up to big things. That may be the case. But what I’m finding with the people I’m interviewing is that the value of doing little things is not in the little, it’s in the doing and that when people do something, it changes them. And people constantly say, â€œJosh, it was a challenge but thank you because it got me to see things differently through doing something instead of just talking about stuff.â€
Marshal: Right. Iâ€™m talking about doing something. Iâ€™m talking about coaching someone who is very important in this field for free.
Joshua: So I’m going to push back once more and if this doesnâ€™t work, that’s fine, then I’ll take it. But if it’s something that could lower your impact, then I think that would also be valuable. I’m just suggesting one more time.
Marshal: I think a good one I can do is not eating meat.
Joshua: OK. That’s one people are doing. And people that’s likeâ€¦ It is having an effect. It’s a big effect.
Marshal: Good, thatâ€™s one.
Joshua: OK. And I take it you do eat meat now?
Marshal: Not a lot but some, yes.
Joshua: OK. Then. The next thing to do is to make it a SMART goal. So I assume you know but for all the people home, Specific, Measurable, Accountable and Time based and Realistic. So usually that for most people that means doing it for a specified period of time like a week or month or whatever it is.
Marshal: Let’s do it for a week.
Joshua: OK, so no meat for a week.
Marshal: Yeah, that sounds fun.
Joshua: And do you also want to do the coaching someone?
Marshal: Well let’s just do that no meat for a week thing, to just start with.
Joshua: Ok, cool. And can we schedule a second conversation to talk about the experience after it?
Marshal: Sure, that’ll be fine.
Joshua: So cool. I think that this may have more of an effect than you think. And I think that like it’s surprising to find that people say, â€œOK, I’ll do thisâ€ and when they start doing it becomes harder than they expect.
Marshal: I’m like doubting that at all.
Joshua: And I think the value for the people listening home is partly that they get to hear what happens and if you succeed, they get to hear about the success of someone actually doing stuff instead of just telling others to. But also if it doesn’t work, then people get to hear the challenge of some [23:23] that makes someone more human and authentic.
Marshal: Good. I like it.
Joshua: Awesome. I have one other question before we wrap up. I wonder if I could ask you to expand on something that’s aâ€¦ I’m not able to quote you perfectly but something has been very meaningful that’s guided me that you’ve said that in life people know what to do. The challenge is not usually what to do but doing it. And that really strikes home with acting with respect to the environment. I wonder if you could say a few words on that.
Marshal: My theory in life is if I interviewed almost anyone and said, â€œDescribe the ideal you,â€ I would get this beautiful story about this nice hardworking good person who has fine integrity and good with a family and in perfect physical condition and works out and blah-blah-blah. He doesn’t make bad comments about others and all that. And then the problem is what happens in the real, well world in the real world obesity in the United States is an all-time high, depression is at an all-time high, employee engagement it’s an all-time low. So if you look at it, what happens between this dream life, this person who’s supposed to be there and the person who shows up every day?
Well, in my book triggers I talk a lot about this but [24:37] triggers any stimulus may impact our behavior. We’re constantly bombarded with triggers that generally throw us away from achieving whatever it is we want to achieve. And it’s very, very hard to keep anything in focus today, especially the Internet. The Internet is likeâ€¦ We are all like something called the Monkey Mind, a Buddhist termâ€™s Monkey Mind or mindâ€™s like a monkey swinging from wine to wine throughout the jungle. The Internet provides amphetamines for the monkey mind. Well yeah I mean you want to look up something online, it supposed to take five minutes, three hours later you are still online, it’s amphetamines for the monkey mind.
So what happens is I think it’s very, very challenging to keep anything in focus. That’s why I have the daily question process. I have a woman call me every day, she listens to me read questions I wrote, write answers I wrote every day. Just to try to keep some sense of focus and structure in my life. So many are asking why do you do this don’t you know the theory about how to change behavior? I wrote the theory about how to change behavior. I mean I do this because I know how difficult it is. It’s very hard for any of us including me to keep anything in our minds and it’s not because we’re mean or bad or evil or stupid, it’s because we’re bombarded with stimulus all the time and from all kinds of directions and it’s not getting less, it’s getting more and it is very, very hard to keep anything in focus.
So it’s not like we don’t know what we want to do, it’s just doing it. Well my book What got you here, wonâ€™t get you there was the number one bestselling business book in America. The number one bestselling diet book in America sold 10 times its 20 copies. Americans get fatter and fatter and fatter while purchasing more and more diet books. We don’t lose weight by purchasing a diet book, we actually have to go on a diet. And if purchasing diet books would make you thin, Americans would be the thinnest people who ever lived. It’s not the theory, the theory is not the problem. The problem is the execution and execution is very, very difficult. And I find it’s very hard to get people to change anything. I mean I work with very, very successful, very motivated people and they want to get better and they’re trying. I’ll tell you this stuff is very easy to understand. It’s just very difficult to do.
Joshua: So if someone is listening to this podcast and they’re interested in changing something they’ve read a lot of theory, they know a lot of stuff. Of all the resources of yours, where would you suggest they start if they want to improve their ability to act not justâ€¦
Marshal: I’ll just tell them something they can do without going to any resources. Get out an Excel spreadsheet, on one column write down a series of behaviors that represent what they want in their life. They could relate to friends, family, health, exercise, customers, whatever it is, just write anything you want. Then 7 boxes across, 1 for every day of the week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Every question has to be answered with yes or no or a number. And then they fill it out every day. Now, at the end of the week that Excel spreadsheet will give you a report card. I will warn your listeners in advance the report card at the end of week not be quite as beautiful as their corporate [27:42] I stood up on the wall.
I’ve been doing this for years. And when you do this every day, you quickly learn that life is incredibly easy to talk. Life isnâ€™t incredibly difficult to live. And if you do this every day, you don’t learn about what you’re talking. You should learn about those living raise. They are not quite so pretty. The average human cannot do this beyond two weeks. If they don’t get help, they canâ€™t do it beyond two weeks. Why? It’s painful. It’s embarrassing. It’s humbling. Did you ever try and do this yourself?
Joshua: I did it slightly differently, I had a time diary of where I was actually spending my time. It was unpleasant.
Marshal: Yeah. Itâ€™s embarrassing. How long did you last?
Joshua: Yeah, good question. I think it was about a week or two. Because I was like spending so much time on the Internet. It was really I kept tracking it and I was like this isn’t what I thought.
Marshal: [28:30] rather than just feeling embarrassed. You just quit filling out the form.
Marshal: Yeah. My name is Marshall Goldsmith. I was world’s number one ranked leadership thinker and executive coach. I bet you want to call me on the phone every day. Why? Because I’m too cowardly to do this by myself and too undisciplined. I need help and it’s okay. Now, Josh, I want you to repeat after me. Are you ready?
Marshal: My name is Josh.
Joshua: My name is Josh.
Marshal: I’m an incredibly smart guy.
Joshua: I’m an incredibly smart guy.
Marshal: Lots of degrees.
Joshua: Lots of degrees.
Marshal: I’m too cowardly to do the simple stuff by myself.
Joshua: I’m too cowardly to do the simple stuff by myself.
Marshal: Iâ€™m too undisciplined to do the simple stuff by myself.
Joshua: Iâ€™m too undisciplined to do the simple stuff by myself.
Marshal: I need help.
Joshua: I need help.
Marshal: And it’s OK.
Joshua: And it’s OK.
Marshal: Here you go. We all need help and it’s ok.
Joshua: I’m going to commit to you to put downâ€¦ How many behaviors did youâ€¦You said seven days across?
Marshal: Many as you want. Yes. Seven days across, many behaviors many as you want.
Joshua: So I’ll be prepared. I will commit back to you to do for one week also. And I’ll see how my week went.
Marshal: That’s good. That’s good. Give it a shot.
Joshua: OK. And anything else that I didnâ€™t think to ask. I think I am going to wrap up here because this one has been really dense and we left people with something that they can do.
Marshal: One final thing. Final coaching advice for all your good listeners. Take a deep breath. Imagine you’re 95 years old and you’re just getting ready to die. Right before you take that last breath, you got a beautiful gift – the ability to go back in time and talk with the person who’s listening to me right now. Really help the person be a better professional and have a better life. What advice would that wise old you who knows what mattered in life or what didn’t was important and what wasn’t, what advice would that wise old person had for the youth whoâ€™s listening to me right now. And you don’t have to say anything, do anything, write anything. Just answer that question in mind.
And whatever you’re thinking now, do that. In terms of a performance, appraisal that someone was getting better, have that person as you did the right thing, you did or just say you screwed up with what you did. You don’t have to impress somebody else. Some friends of mine interviewed old folks who were dying got asked this question what advice would you give?
Personal side, three themes. Theme number one. Three words: Be happy now. Not next week, not next month, not next year. Be happy now. Number two, friends and family, all your co-workers may be important when you’re 95 and you’re on your deathbed, you are not [31:04] And then finally if you have a dream. go for it because you don’t do it when you’re 35, you wonâ€™t do it when you’re 45 and you probably wonâ€™t do it when you are 85. They don’t have to be big, maybe small. Third advice is not much different: have fun, be nice to people, help them any way you can. And go for it.
All people we seldom regret the risk weâ€™re taking fail. We always regret the risk we failed to take.
So finally it’s been fun to talk with you as always. Hope my comments have been helpful to your nice listeners and help people have a little better life.
Joshua: Simple and beautiful. Thank you. I just hope people hit rewind and listen to this once again.
Marshal: Thank you.
Joshua: Talk to you again in a week.
Joshua: I had a leadership challenge here because I had a strategic choice that I made before the recording that I wanted to make sure that guests who decided to take on a challenge would themselves change their behavior and Marshall wanted to do what would be most effective in making the biggest difference with that interaction. Of course, you can’t argue that Marshall helping someone at the Sierra Club is not going to be very effective with someone who’s influential. But I wanted to make sure that people who heard this weren’t hearing someone saying â€œOther people change but not meâ€ because I think that message is prevalent in the world and I don’t think we need more of that message.
Also Marshall is one of the busiest people I know. I’ve seen him in person since we recorded this, it has been more than a week but I haven’t gotten to record or talk about the challenge. So I’m still looking forward to hear how the challenge goes. I’m not sure if he’s keeping it up for longer than a week but we’ll hear. I also mentioned that I kept a spreadsheet of things that I wanted to make sure that I did for week. Now I’m not sure if I did it right because if you know me, you know that I do my SIDCHAs every day. And if you don’t know what a SIDCHA is, look up on my blog S-I-D-C-H-A. Or actually go to sidcha.com. I guarantee you will like what you find.
So I knew that I would do 100 percent on them and I do 100 percent. In any case. Marshall closed with some really brilliant stuff I love when Marshall leaves you with that inspirational stuff. I hope that you keep a list to yourself and keep it up and that you’re able to act on Marshal stuff. So look forward to hearing how his personal challenge goes.
Did you feel inspired too? Then act. Go to joshuaspodek.com/podcast and click to commit to your personal challenge so you can inspire others. Value means better and worse and living by your values means living better by your values. You may struggle at first but it’s the hero’s journey from living by others values to living by yours. People say that little things add up. I won’t argue against it. But what I find counts is acting, doing something, anything. Starts that mindset shift from the debilitating â€œOthers should act firstâ€ or making excuses to the empowering â€œI can make a difference and living by my values improves my life. I don’t have to wait for others to act first.â€
I’m looking for leaders, people who will bring what works here in this podcast to communities I haven’t reached. Billions of people want to change their behavior. There is room for leadership, from personal leadership of just yourself to whatever scale you want. Start by acting and changing yourself. Go to joshuaspodek.com/podcast and commit to your personal challenge.
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