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 / Fall 2004 / Issue 36(originally published by Booz & Company)


Leadership Is a Contact Sport: The "Follow-up Factor" in Management Development

If the organization can teach the leader to reach out to co-workers, to listen and learn, and to focus on continuous development, both the leader and the organization will benefit. After all, by following up with colleagues, a leader demonstrates a commitment to self-improvement — and a determination to get better. This process does not have to take a lot of time or money. There’s something far more valuable: contact.

Reprint No. 04307

Author Profiles: 

Marshall Goldsmith ([email protected]) is a founder of Marshall Goldsmith Partners, a leadership coaching network. He has worked with more than 70 major CEOs and their management teams and is the author or coauthor of 18 books on leadership and coaching. His most recent book is Global Leadership: The Next Generation (Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2003).

Howard Morgan ([email protected]) is the founder of 50 Top Coaches, a collective of many of the world’s leading executive advisors. He specializes in executive coaching as a strategic change-management tool. He is co-editor of the forthcoming book The Art and Practice of Leadership Coaching: 50 Top Executive Coaches Reveal Their Secrets (John Wiley & Sons, December 2004).
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  1. Des Dearlove and Stuart Crainer, “My Coach and I,” s+b, Summer 2003; Click here. 
  2. Elizabeth Thach, “The Impact of Executive Coaching and 360 Feedback on Leadership Effectiveness,” Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 23, No. 4, 2002; Click here. 
  3. Marshall Goldsmith, “Ask, Learn, Follow Up, and Grow,” in The Leader of the Future: New Visions, Strategies, and Practices for the Next Era, edited by Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and Richard Beckhard (Peter Drucker Foundation and Jossey-Bass, 1996)
  4. Linda Sharkey, “Leveraging HR: How to Develop Leaders in Real Time,” in Human Resources in the 21st Century, edited by Marc Effron, Robert Gandossy, and Marshall Goldsmith (John Wiley & Sons, 2003)
  5. Diane Anderson, Brian Underhill, and Robert Silva, “The Agilent APEX Case Study,” in Best Practices in Leadership Development — 2004, edited by Dave Ulrich, Louis Carter, and Marshall Goldsmith (Best Practices Publications, forthcoming 2004)
  6. Marshall Goldsmith, Cathy L. Greenberg, Alastair Robertson, and Maya Hu-Chan, Global Leadership: The Next Generation (Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2003)
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