Marshall Goldsmith is a Change Management consultant. He has worked with more than 100 CEOs, CFOs, COOs, Directors, … and their management teams so far in preparing them to the future challenges of their respective organization. He also authored the best-seller “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There” which my HR Dept had recommended few weeks ago to buy. The book is available at all leading book stores.
Sharing an excerpt from Marshall’s writing.
Marshall once had to coach a CFO who burned through his people and their feelings like wildfire. We will call him “JOE”. Joe had led the organization to the very peak of financial success, and still he was about to be fired. The firm’s leaders, who had promoted him to board status because of his great success, finally had a chance to bear witness to his horrible behaviour. They, like the rest of the organization, were suddenly in a position to feel firsthand the wrath of ‘Joe’.
The firm engaged Marshall to coach Joe. Marshall told Joe “You are already making millions a year. I can’t help you make more money. But, let’s talk about your ego. How do you treat people at home?”
Joe told Marshall that he was sweet and loving at home.
Marshall called his wife (from Joe’s office) with the speaker ON. Joe’s wife laughed when Marshall told her how Joe thought he was at home. Joe’s children’s response was similar.
Joe had a wake up call with that little phone interaction. Not only had his board hired a coach to help him to change; his family also wanted him to change.
Joe decided then and there to change. The reason he decided to change was not for money; it had nothing to do with the company. It had to do with his sons. He wanted to change because in twenty years, if his sons received similar feedback, he would be ashamed.
Within a year, Joe was treating people much better. In a couple of years, Joe successfully changed his behaviour.
The moral of the story? ANYBODY CAN CHANGE, BUT THEY HAVE TO WANT TO CHANGE.
One can find references to many such instances in Marshall’s book. We recommend interested readers to buy a copy. It costs around Rs 300.00 and is available at all leading bookstores.
Joe was the victim of the negative aspect of success viz complacency, ego, arrogance, …. But, Joe was fortunate that his firm engaged Marshall Goldsmith to bring-in the desired change in Joe. Not all are fortunate like Joe.
So, the best alternative for us is to sincerely introspect each year, “Do We Have a Joe In Us?”.
28th April 2013