So, You Want to Be an Executive Coach?

Marshall Goldsmith
3 min readJan 28, 2022

In this one-on-one interview with Jim Masters from CUTV Jim gets to the heart of who I am, why I do what I do, and my plans and hopes for the future.

Jim Masters: Dr. Goldsmith, welcome to CUTV News. It’s a real honor and pleasure to have you here.

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith: Thank you so much for inviting me.

Jim: Incredible resume, incredible body of work that you have presented and delivered on a worldwide basis. I want to start from the beginning, if I can a little bit, back up a little bit and rewind. What inspired you? What were the things in your own journey in life that encouraged you to do the incredible work that you do now, encouraging and inspiring others?

Marshall: I’ve had wonderful teachers. When I was very young, I met a very famous man, Dr. Paul Hersey, a very kind man. He let me follow him around to try to learn to do what he did. Sure enough, one day he became double booked and he said, “Can you do what I do?” I said, “Well, I don’t know.” He said, “I need help, can you do this?” I said, “I don’t know.” Then he said, “I’ll pay you $1,000 for one day.” Now, I was making $15,000 for one year. That was 39 years ago when I was 28 years old. Do you know what I said? “Sign me up.” So I did a program with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, I was very successful, they were happy. They called Paul and said, “Send Marshall again,” and that’s how I got into the speaking part of my business.

Jim: How do you do describe the work you do? I know it’s full-bodied and it’s varied, but how would you pinpoint the actual work that you do? How do you describe it?

Marshall: My mission is helping successful leaders achieve positive lasting change in behavior. And as I told you earlier, if you do Google search, “helping successful leaders,” the first 500 hits, about 450 are me

Jim: Incredible.

Marshall: The rest of world is 50. That’s what I do and that has different forms. One thing I do is I speak or teach. I’m a professor of management practice at Dartmouth. I travel all around the world, I showed you my card, I have 11 million frequent flyer miles.

Jim: He really does.

Marshall: On one airline. Speaking or teaching, that’s what I enjoy the most. And then what I’m most famous for is coaching executives. So I’m the coach of one fellow, as we speak today who’s in the news. He was the CEO of Ford and I’m…

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Marshall Goldsmith

My mission is simple. I want to help successful people achieve positive, lasting change in behavior; for themselves, their people, and their teams.