SOBCon 2012 Preview: Gary W. Goldstein

This week we’re previewing SOBCon 2012: Chicago. The event runs May 4-6. We contacted some of the presenters and asked them to share their insights about their individual industries. The answers were so interesting to review and reveal that Liz Strauss and Terry St. Marie have put together an amazing group for this year’s event.

Today’s Q&A is with Gary W. Goldstein, the producer of some of Hollywood’s biggest box-office hits, generating well over a billion dollars in worldwide revenue, receiving multiple Academy Award nominations, People’s Choice Awards, a Golden Globe and various other awards. But that really doesn’t tell the whole story. Gary’s experience, strategies and powerful collaborations, developed over three decades of success stories in entertainment and in the business world, have empowered him to consistently and successfully reinvent and energize other people’s messages, offerings, businesses and their bottom line.

1. On Twitter, you recently highlighted a quote from Jack Welch, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” In your experience, what’s the best thing a leader can do to help others grow?

A good leader can and should:

  • Encourage others’ innate sense of creativity (work as play)
  • Encourage them to embrace their unique personal story and see their role (as entrepreneur or team player) as intrinsically valuable, irreplaceable, essential
  • Encourage everyone to trust their “gut”… always
  • Put aside judgement & engage fully in positive, constructive ways, whether agree or disagree
  • Listen deeply to wants, needs, ideas, feelings of others
  • Be a good storyteller & share proudly the ‘why’ of what you do, telling the story behind the story, making it personal & purposeful
  • Ask questions, meaningful questions, often
  • Exalt ideas over strategy, values over efficiency, team over customers or clients
  • Compliment, point out strengths and every small victory, innovation, good instinct (be 100 percent genuine)… make eye contact, take a moment when not expected
  • Use self and own stories as examples when suggesting ways to improve

2. When offered the chance to do a new project, what process do you go through to determine if it’s the best fit for you?

Who are the people involved? I look for integrity, world view, background, attitude, creativity, chemistry, values, and different but complimentary skill sets. If yes, it’s a great fit.

I also check if I immediately, intuitively feel enthused and exhilarated by the idea of rolling up my sleeves and helping transform this particular idea into a reality. A large part of that is “knowing” I’ve a unique talent to contribute that will make a significant difference in the outcome, and that it’s a talent or arena in which I truly thrive.

Then I ask, “Is the idea or project something ‘new,’ offering an environment and experience in which I’ll learn a great deal that’s fresh and exciting to me and, very importantly, is the idea really “big” so that it will impact many lives?”

A special thank you to Gary for taking the time to share his thoughts. We look forward to hearing from him on Saturday.

About Britt Raybould

Britt Raybould has a passion for telling stories and she specializes in helping companies figure out how to tell their own stories. Through her firm, Write Bold, she shows companies how storytelling can define them, both to their customers and within their industry. When she remembers to, Britt blogs on her personal sites at and You can find Britt on Twitter @britter.

Twitter: britter

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