SHIFT Magazine - Page 10

SHIFT SHIFT: Dr. Goldsmith, thank you for letting us feature you. It's an honor. What got you into speaking/coaching? MG: Early in my career, I met Dr. Paul Hersey. At the time, in addition to being a professor, Paul was a renowned consultant in the field of executive development. Paul offered me a job as an associate professor, which I declined. However, I did take up an offer to sit in on one of Paul’s public seminars for executives. The event was a turning point in my career. Paul was great. I was very impressed with what he did and I asked him if he thought I could teach his Situational Leadership material.” Paul agreed, so I began tagging along on his seminars. Despite having a Ph.D., I was not above lugging around video equipment or setting up chairs to help his mentor. I realized I could learn from Paul … in terms of how to communicate with real world executives. I learned more from him than I learned in any of my formal educational experiences. One day, I got a call from Paul. He was mistakenly booked to speak at two events on the same day, and he asked me if he could take his place teaching a leadership program for a large life insurance company on the East Coast. I agreed, and the event turned out to be my big break. 10 The participants ranked me as the most effective speaker during the two-week program. While the client was disappointed that Paul had not shown up, they could not stay upset because I was so popular! Paul was going to charge the company $2,000 for his fee. Then he called me and asked if it would be okay if he kept $1,000 and paid me the rest. I told Paul, “Paul, I’m making $15,000 a year. As long as you pay me $1,000 per day, I don’t care if you make $50,000!” Paul also asked me if I would like to continue teaching his material. I answered, “Let me think about this. I get to meet leading executives. I have a great time. They like me. I am adding lots of value. And I make $1,000 per day? Sign me up, Coach!” And, that is how I got started speaking and coaching. SHIFT: You are a New York Times best selling author, have written 35 books, have a PhD from UCLA and have coached some of the most powerful CEOS in the world. How do you maintain your humility and gratitude? You have accomplished many amazing things. MG: This is a great question. I have an exercise I do with my classes and clients to help with this. Try this yourself: Imagine that you are 95 years old and just about to die.