The term ‘Coaching’ started in the later part of the 1880s and has been mostly associated with the sports profession. The concept progressively spread during the nineties and references to coaching were continuously mentioned in business journals.
Coaching can be defined as a set of methodologies and techniques that concentrate on directing, instructing and training either an individual or a group of people with the aim to attain specific, personal or professional development goals.
Well, a couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of joining Marshall Goldsmith’sMG100 coaches group in a two-day gathering at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC.
TheMG100 coaches is a project launched by Marshall which aims at giving away all his knowledge and technics to 100 coaches, all for free! In return, these 100 people will “pay it forward” by doing the same thing to others, also for free.
Marshall’s unprecedented initiative received more than 16.000 applications, and his 30-second video about the project ended up becoming the most widely viewed video in the history of LinkedIn.
The World Bank gathering – Dr. Jim Kim
The event was hosted by the President of the World Bank,Dr. Jim Kim. Like any of us, he actively participated in the sessions. Listening to Dr. Kim’s career was inspirational. From how he started in the field, founding Partners-in-Health to help fight HIV and Antibiotic Resistant Tuberculosis in Haiti and Peru; up to being appointed by Obama to one of the most powerful jobs in the world.
After taking charge as head of the World Bank, Dr. Kim set two game-changing goals for the World to achieve by 2030:
End extreme poverty by decreasing the percentage of people living on less than $1.90 a day to no more than 3%.
Promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40% for every country.
For someone who is a big believer in the power of “less is more” and the power of focus,
And he does not stop with a fancy vision statement; he takes action to make it happen. Jim, as he asked us to call him, is transforming the Bank’s 75-year-old strategy; shifting from inputs (investments) into outcomes (value, impact); moving away from infrastructure development projects, to focusing all the efforts on improving healthcare and providing education for every single child as the two primary drivers of poverty alleviation.
In a world that is crying out for some signs of leadership from our current political and public persons, Dr. Jim Kim, with his strategic vision, yet humble and altruistic leadership style, brought a light of hope into the group.
Talent, Value, Nature and Exponential Disruption
During the two days, we had the chance to listen, and interact, with genuinely inspirational persons: Sandy Ogg, founder of CEO.works; Mark Tercek president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy; and Rob Nail, CEO and Associate founder of Singularity University.
Sandy has held leadership roles in HR for Unilever, Motorola, and Blackstone, the private equity firm, where his primary responsibilities were to promote leadership development, talent management and best in class human resources practices across Blackstone’s 67 portfolio companies. Sandy told us that in Blackstone, he learned that there were two things you had to get right in every investment. Number one, you had to buy the right asset at the right price. Moreover, number two, you have to have the right people, and you have to have enough talent working on it, to be able to create value in a compressed time frame. From this experience, Sandy pioneered the concept of linking talent and jobs to the value they create within organizations.
Mark, former managing director and Partner for Goldman Sachs, where he spent 24 years, explained us his radical career turn from Wall Street to leading the Nature Conservancy. He shared his big idea of natural capital — valuing nature for its own sake as well as for the services it provides for people, such as clean air and water, productive soils and a stable climate. It was interesting to see how he has successfully applied merchant banking principles in projects from bottling plants to protecting New York from storms. Once the value of such “ecosystem services” is recognized, it can be included in business plans. One example he shared is when New York City’s planners established that, to address their polluted water supply, they could either spend $8 billion to build a giant water treatment plant or $1.5 billion on planting trees. After hearing Mark talking, we all agreed to be much more conscious of Nature.
Rob closed the sessions with his unique views, both scary and optimistic, about our future. He started by reassuring us that if we thought that the pace of change today is too fast, we should know that this is the slowest that we will experience for the rest of our lives…frightening! His views on technology are probably the most accurate you can find. Some samples: Artificial Intelligence: we will have our assistants which (or who?) will know more about us than ourselves. Transport: everything which moves today will be autonomous. Production: how we produce things will radically change with robots and 3D printing. Over the next 20 years, we will experience the most devastating disruption the world has ever experienced. After this dark period, we will, thanks to exponential growth, see the best times in human history, characterized by abundance and freedom.
Jim, Sandy, Mark, and Rob, are some of the most inspirational people I have ever met, very positive about the future. Truly authentic leaders that “walk the talk”, applying what they preach to themselves and their successful businesses.
Back to the Original Q: The Ultimate Coaching Technique?
In the ancient world, the sophists were well trained and highly educated philosophers who offered to teach others and help them to attain their goals. And they did this as a paying occupation. Their own wealth was their main, or sometimes, only goal. But Socrates, by contrast, became the first famous philosopher who tackled life questions with others refusing to be paid for his services.
Marshall’s idea of giving away all his knowledge for free, gathering all these bright people and creating the MG100 movement, got me busy thinking through the flight back home: “Is there something else behind? Is he teaching us something bigger that we cannot see at this moment of euphoria? “Is Marshall Goldsmith becoming the modern world Socrates?”
After meeting many of the MG100 and skimmed through their profiles, it struck me that two characteristics were shared by every participant in this group: first, how much all of them are eager to learn – bearing in mind that they are already world class in what they do – and second, their enthusiasm to find ways to give back to society, to those that need it most.
Undoubtedly two of the key criteria that Marshall had in mind when selecting who would join the team.
The fact that Marshall gives away everything that has made him so successful for free is both an incentive as well as an immense constructive pressure for all of us. We have a moral commitment to get beyond our own potential. We are prompted to find ways of leveraging the immense knowledge of the group to pay it forward exponentially and create even more impact in our society. Probably we have experienced the ultimate coaching technique.
What would happen if every successful person in the world does the same as Marshall? That they select a group of people to share all the knowledge that made them successful, for free. It will certainly be the beginning of a much better world.
MG100 Group – Exceptional Hearts & Minds
I could dedicate a full article to each of the members of the MG100, all of them a source of knowledge and inspiration. Already at the moment of shaking hands, a special connection was established, as if we knew each other from the past. The bonding and the chemistry was spectacular.
I recommend that you connect, reach out to them, follow their blogs, and learn as much as you can from them.
Whitney Johnson, a leading thinker on strategy and breakthrough innovation, author of the critically acclaimed: Disrupt Yourself; Alisa Cohn executive coach for CEOs, emerging leaders and entrepreneurs, Top Ten Coaches in Boston’ – Women’s Business; Marcia Blenko advisory partner at Bain & Company; Mitch Carmichael Senate President – Lieutenant Governor of West Virginia; Julie Carrier CEO of Girls Lead which supports the world’s leading girl-serving organizations incl. the United Nations Foundation; Louis Carter CEO Best Practice Institute; Dorie Clark marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, author of the best seller Entrepreneurial You;Eric Schurenberg president and editor-in-chief of INC and Fast Company; Sergey Sirotenko leading executive coach in Russia, served as Director of Leadership Development at Yale; Donnie Dhillon – London Business Growth Coach founder and CEO of London Business Growth; Pawel Motyl leading European expert on decision making, leadership and talent management; Claire Diaz-Ortiz award-winning author of eight books, including One Minute Mentoring.
Chester Elton recognized as a top Global Guru in Leadership and Organizational Culture; Tasha Eurich named a ‘Top 100 Thought Leader’ by Trust Across America;David Gallimore led seven successful startups inside Boeing, Capgemini, IBM, Wall Data; Philippe Grall leading executive coach in Japan specializes in group coaching for board members; Wendy Greeson Vice President, Global Learning & Development Cielo; Terence Jackson, Ph.D. consults with major companies such as Southern Corp, ExxonMobil, Bristol Meyers Squibb, New York Life; Dr. Jeffrey Kuhn distinguished author, advisor, and speaker with expertise in strategy, innovation, growth, and organizational renewal; Deepa Prahalad focused on design and emerging markets. Co-author: Predictable Magic;Hortense le Gentil a leading executive coach in Western Europe.
Darek Lenart Senior VP HR, Finance Mastercard. Former HR director with Pepsi Central Eastern Europe; Dave Meltzer CEO of Sports 1 Marketing, author of Compassionate Capitalism and Connected to Goodness;Ronald (Ronnie) Miles, Jr manager, Organizational Development at the Federal Reserve Board; Reeta Nathwani a leading Singapore based Board coach which promotes inclusive, gender-balanced business; Dr. Bob Nelson recognized as a Top Thought Leader by the Best Practice Institute, he has sold 5 million books on management employee motivation and engagement; Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez me; David Nour developed leaders in global companies such as Disney, Cisco Systems, Deloitte Consulting, IBM; Anu Oza led the leadership development practice at both Mercer and Accenture; Mark Parsells chairman and CEO of three Private Equity backed corporations; Denise Hummel, J.D. an expert on the connection between inclusion and business performance, Chair of Athena’s Life Sciences Committee.
Howard Prager president, Advance Learning Group, Senior Leadership and Change Strategist for the Association of College and Research Libraries; Julie Rosenberg MD physician executive and healthcare leader at Pfizer; Himanshu Saxena strategic mindset, design thinker, and mindfulness practitioner; Bonita Thompson leading innovator in HR for over 25 years, New York Times bestselling author of ADMIRED: 21 Ways to Double Your Value;Molly Tschang consults for the NYU Reynolds Program for Social Entrepreneurship and does extensive pro-bono work for great causes; Taavo Godtfredsen executive coach and leadership advisor; Scott Osman CEO 100 Coaches project and Director Good Omen Partners; Howard Morgan one of the founders of HRM Possibilities and founding partner of the 50 Top Coaches organization; Frank Wagner co-founder Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching, author The Coach’s Playbook: The Leader as Coach;Srikumar Rao developer of one of the most popular courses ever taught at top business schools, author of Happiness at Work.
Of course, nothing would happen without the leadership of Sarah McArthur, COO Marshall Goldsmith Inc.; thanks for project managing in such a professional way.
To conclude this newsletter, last of the year, I want to take the opportunity to wish you and your beloved ones a
Merry Christmas and a Splendid 2018!!
In addition to the five books he has authored, Antonio has contributed to seven other business books.