Guest AuthorMarshall Goldsmith

Looking for Common Ground with Chris Cuomo

By | Dr Marshall Goldsmith | #1 Leadership Thinker, Exec Coach, NYT Bestselling Author. Dartmouth Tuck Professor Mgmt Practice

Chris Cuomo, my great friend, journalist and news anchor, has an exceptional new show on CNN called Cuomo Prime Time. Chris has a unique agenda for his news analysis show, which is different from his “competition”. In the excerpt from our interview below, Chris shares his deep commitment to finding common ground in an environment where it is often a very difficult thing to do.

Marshall: I’m here with my wonderful friend Chris Cuomo. Chris, you have an exciting show, Cuomo Prime Time. What I love about what you’re doing is you’re not trying to be this way or that way, you’re really trying to look for the truth and rationality. To me, just rationality, common sense. I think the country seems to be getting a little more “I’m this way, or I’m that way,” which I don’t see as necessarily good for anybody. There’s too much toxicity, too much “I’m right, you’re wrong.” How did you get you get to this perspective? What do you see for the future?

Chris: The first answer to the first part of the question is you. I came to you when I was offered this opportunity, and I was like, “I don’t know, Sean Hannity, Rachel Maddow, I’m just looking for a butt whoopin’ here,” and you said, “No, there’s opportunity, because fringe thinking is always going to breed a desire for common ground.”

Marshall: That’s right!

Chris: And your analysis was right. Thank you. Thank you for helping me make the move. And how do we identify that opportunity? In politics, when fringe thinking, when extreme thought starts to take hold as the main convention, people get lost. You have some people who by default wind up falling into one silo or another, left or right. But they don’t really feel that. Eventually, everybody starts to get an appetite for common ground, because you start to get suspicious that, “Hey, I think that these people are just pointing fingers at each other because it’s easier for them.” It’s easier to fight than to fix, so I think that’s where we are. As smart and cogent as someone can be, eventually they have to deliver on action that moves it. I think there are independent thinkers out there. Independent people who are saying, “The politicians really aren’t getting anything done, they’re just fighting about who’s worse.”

That’s what I want to exploit, and push people in positions of power. I want to ask, “What are you going to do about this?” For instance, school shootings. Everybody agrees that the schools have got to be safer. So instead of this existential, all or nothing view when it comes to gun control, why don’t you also think about this component of the problem, at least do something about it. You have to push for that. And I think the opportunity’s increasing for us to find common ground.

Marshall: I love it, thank you!

Republished with permission and originally published at

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