Featured Profiles

The Knowledge Philanthropy of Marshall Goldsmith: A Coaching Giant’s Gift

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith has been recognized as one of the Top Ten Business Thinkers in the world and the top-rated executive coach at the Thinkers50 ceremony in London since 2011. With nearly 40 years of hands-on experience, Marshall Goldsmith is the leading expert on leadership and coaching for behavioral change. Dr Goldsmith also appeared in the inaugural issue of Global 100 Inspirational leaders. His singular ability to get results for top leaders has drawn over 150 CEOs and their management teams to address change in the workplace.


Marshall Goldsmith’s remarkable journey began in a small town in New Jersey. Few could have predicted the global impact he would go on to make in the world of leadership coaching. Yet from modest beginnings, the seeds were sown for the wisdom and compassion that would define Goldsmith’s teachings.

“Much of my life is thanks to great mentors,” Goldsmith reflects. After earning his Ph.D. in organizational behavior, he learned from renowned mentors like Peter Drucker and Frances Hesselbein. “I hoped to emulate their wisdom and impact. More or less, I think I have,” he says.

Equipped with this profound knowledge, Goldsmith set out to make his mark in the world of coaching executives and leaders. Among his most significant endeavors is creating 100 Coaches – an elite community bringing together the world’s top executive coaches aligned with Goldsmith’s transformative methodology.


100 Coaches: Elevating Global Coaching Standards
As Goldsmith’s coaching practice expanded, his quest to share wisdom took on bold new dimensions with 100 Coaches. The organization quickly became a thriving hub for collaboration, lifelong learning, and development among the upper echelon of professional coaches. It elevated the standard for coaching globally, realizing Goldsmith’s aspiration to match, even amplify, the wisdom of giants like Drucker. 100 Coaches connected clients with Goldsmith-approved coaches of the highest caliber. But it went further, fostering knowledge sharing and collective growth among its experts. This coaching incubator extended Goldsmith’s reach far beyond his personal client roster, propagating his methods broadly.

Yet, despite decades of success, Goldsmith found himself wondering – what’s left to accomplish? “My goal is to empower people worldwide by giving away what I have learned in over 40 years of coaching,” says Goldsmith. The world’s #1 executive coach aimed to democratize access to the transformative personal growth techniques he had honed with elites.

It was an unlikely new direction for someone of Goldsmith’s stature. He had achieved every accolade – globally top executive coach, inducted into the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame, and bestselling author. “But I asked myself, what’s left to accomplish?” Goldsmith recalls.


Knowledge Philanthropy: Goldsmith’s Mission to Empower All
The pivotal moment came during a workshop his friend, designer Ayse Birsel, held. When Birsel asked Goldsmith to name his mentors, he mentioned legends who generously shared wisdom. “She said, be more like your heroes. Give your knowledge freely.”

This sparked Goldsmith’s vision for knowledge philanthropy – empowering anyone to access his coaching tools. “I wanted my techniques not just for elites but everyday people,” he explains. Goldsmith began organizing his decades of teachings into a framework coaches worldwide could adapt. “It’s like Lego – build what you want from these pieces,” he describes. His knowledge philanthropy portal offers open-source access to a methodology honed over an entire career. “Everything I teach is simple yet challenging,” Goldsmith notes. “The key is pairing simplicity with consistency.”

Techniques like his daily questions and “feedforward” process promote the personal growth mindset Goldsmith instills in executives. “I hope people take these tools and make them their own,” he says.
Goldsmith insists adaptation is crucial for local impact. “People know their own communities better than I do. My role is empowering them to tailor this approach.”

He excitedly describes knowledge philanthropy’s organic, collaborative nature. “Coaches worldwide are sharing implementations, learning from each other. That collective energy will create real change.”


The Earned Life: Goldsmith’s Approach to Purpose and Fulfillment
Driven by this desire to pay forward the mentorship he had received, Goldsmith did not stop there. He steadily grew his reputation and influence over decades of working with top CEOs, amassing over 50 years of accrued wisdom. Then, Goldsmith shared the principles distilled from his extensive coaching journey with the world through his book The Earned Life. After a career of empowering elite leaders, he looks to make his teachings accessible to all who strive for purpose and meaning.

In The Earned Life, the world-renowned executive coach and bestselling author offers a potent but straightforward approach to accommodating our need for achievement and life’s unfairness. Goldsmith implores readers to avoid the “I’ll be happy when…” mentality. He provides practical advice and exercises to help shed obstacles preventing a fulfilling life.

He firmly believes a fulfilling life has few demands. Refrain from being caught measuring self-worth by arbitrary societal metrics. Instead, focus inward on higher purpose and growth. Every breath provides the chance to start anew.

Goldsmith embraces a core Buddhist tenet – the ‘every breath’ concept. Each inhalation brings forth a new version of yourself. Let the past dissolve like mist. The future is but a dream. Continually renew yourself in the sanctity of the present.

For him, each moment offers a chance to be one’s best self. Despite decades of coaching others, he still works diligently on his own growth. “I still need help,” Goldsmith says with disarming candor. His humility allows compassion towards others to flow from self-compassion.

In conclusion, his advice rings true – treat yourself and others compassionately. Maintain perspective. Celebrate the journey. Focus on small daily joys—nurture relationships. Aspire beyond achievement or results. Continually renew each moment.