Who is Marshall Goldsmith?

Since 2011, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith has been named one of the Top Ten Business Thinkers in the World and the highest-rated executive coach at the Thinkers50 ceremony in London. Triggers, his 2015 book, is a Wall Street Journal and New York Times #1 Best Seller! He’s also the author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, a New York Times best-seller and #1 Wall Street Journal business book that won the Harold Longman Award for Best Business Book of the Year. 

Marshall, who holds a Ph.D. from UCLA, is a pioneer in the use of 360-degree feedback as a tool for leadership development. His early efforts in providing feedback and then following up with executives to measure behavioral changes were forerunners to what became the field of executive coaching. Marshall Goldsmith is the leading expert on leadership and coaching for behavioral change, with nearly 40 years of hands-on experience. 


Goldsmith worked as an assistant professor and then associate dean at Loyola Marymount University’s College of Business from 1976 to 1980. He later became a management practice professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business. After meeting Paul Hersey in 1977, Goldsmith entered the field of management education, and he later co-founded the management education firm Keilty, Goldsmith, and Company.

Marshall Goldsmith is the only two-time winner of the Thinkers 50 Award for the World’s Leading Leadership Thinker. For the past eight years, he has been ranked as the World’s #1 Executive Coach and a Top Ten Business Thinker. Dr. Goldsmith is the author or editor of 36 books, including three New York Times best-sellers, which have sold over 2.5 million copies and been named a bestseller in 12 countries. (https://modtreks.com/) His books, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and Triggers, have been named two of the Top 100 Leadership & Success Books Ever Written by Amazon.com. 

Read more about the Author here.

Notable quote

  • “Fate is the hand of cards we’ve been dealt. The choice is how we play the hand.” 
  • “Mojo” is, “That positive spirit toward what we are doing now, that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside”
  • “getting mad at people for being who they are, makes as much sense as getting mad at a chair for being a chair.”
  • “People who believe they can succeed see opportunities where others see threats.”
  • “Successful people become great leaders when they learn to shift the focus from themselves to others.”
  • “If we do not create and control our environment, our environment creates and controls us.”
  • “Never wrestle with a pig—because you both get dirty but the pig loves it”
  • “A leader who cannot shoulder the blame is not someone we will follow blindly into battle. We instinctively question that individual’s character, dependability, and loyalty to us. And so we hold back on our loyalty to him or her.”
  • “Just because people understand what to do doesn’t ensure that they will actually do it.”
  • “We spend a lot of time teaching leaders what to do. We don’t spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop. Half the leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop.”

Inspiring Talks by Marshall Goldsmith