As a member of the National Speakers Association, I had the learning opportunity to participate with several of the great voices of our generation.

Marshall Goldsmith, who coaches more than 50 of the top 100 CEOs of corporate America, commented on several psychological observations that I found interesting:

  • What we do at home, we do at the office, and vice versa. In other words, if we are unkind to our colleagues, our staff and our adversaries, we’re probably exhibiting to same behavior to our spouses and our children.
  • Among the annoying habits that can hold successful people back is winning too much. Generally, we’re successful because we’re competitive. Being competitive, we win. But, we don’t know when to stop. We even compete on who is to select the restaurant to go to for dinner.
  • Successful people often add too much value. In other words, we add something to another person’s idea. Instead of saying "thank you" and being quiet, we say that is a great idea, but it would be better if you add x, y, or z.  He says that the quality of the idea may go up by 5%, but the participation will go way down … because it now is no longer the other person’s idea. We have stolen the other person’s investment in the process.
  • Destructive comments prevents forward progress. Avoid the use of the words, "no," "but" and "however." These words discount the value of the other person and their ideas. By merely saying "thank you," we can create, maintain and retain our team with significantly greater results for all involved.
  • Leadership is a contact sport!  Studies show that where the leader followed-up, there was greatest improvement.
  • What got you here, won’t get you there. Those competitive attributes that got you to the leader’s position are different than the attributes of a successful leader. You must alter your skill set in order to succeed in your new position.

Powerful thoughts, indeed. How can you apply these thoughts to your law practice.  How can you coach your team to greater heights? Do you have a coach yourself? What do you want from your coach? Have you told him/her? How can a coach help you reach greater heights?