It's easy to believe that if you've been successful in some area of life, the process of getting to the next level is just getting better at what got you there. But Marshall Goldsmith makes the point that doing more of the same won't work in the book What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful. I'm inclined to agree with him after reading the book...
Contents: Section 1 - The Trouble with Success: You Are Here; Enough About You; The Success Delusion, or Why We Resist Change Section 2 - The Twenty Habits That Hold You Back from the Top: The Twenty Habits; The Twenty-First Habit - Goal Obsession Section 3 - How We Can Change For The Better: Feedback; Apologizing; Telling The World, or Advertising; Listening; Thanking; Following Up; Practicing Feedforward Section 4 - Pulling Out the Stops: Changing - The Rules; Special Challenges for People in Charge; Coda - You Are Here Now; Appendix; Index
Successful people got that way because they are highly skilled at something... decision-making, program design, etc. But there's quite often one or more habits that hold them back from progressing even further than they might otherwise. It may be the company executive that can't quite break into the CEO position. Or perhaps it's the sales person that leads the pack in orders but isn't perceived as a team member. Goldsmith outlines 20 habits that can keep you from making that next step: winning too much, adding too much value, passing judgment, making destructive comments, starting with "no", "but", or "however", telling the world how smart we are, speaking when angry, negativity, or "Let me explain why that won't work", withholding information, failing to give proper recognition, claiming credit that we don't deserve, making excuses, clinging to the past, playing favorites, refusing to express regret, not listening, failing to express gratitude, punishing the messenger, passing the buck, and an excessive need to be "me". After going through each of the habits, he then covers what can be done to identify our problem areas and resolve them.
While reading this, I definitely saw a few of these elements that I need to work on. If I were to couple this with feedback, I'm sure I'd find out even more. Of course, it's easy to fall into the trap of seeing all the flaws of your colleagues here. :) But one statement that Goldsmith said really resonated with me. Often the things you detest in others are indicators of that same flaw in your own life. It's like looking in a mirror and hating what you see. That gem of understanding explains why I have some adverse reactions to certain types of behavior. It's because I hate it when I do it...
If you're willing to hold up the mirror and take an honest look at yourself, this book will give you solid material for personal improvement. You'll also do well if you're willing to let others comment on what they see. It could be exactly what you need to step up to the next level.
Pros: well written, concepts clearly explained Cons: Very little worthwhile information that isn't already common knowledge The Bottom Line: While the concepts are important to recognize, the road to further achievement is not through this book. Throughout my time in sales, I have worked extensively with other salespeople. Due to my success in my industry, I have been pulled from time to time to work … more
Had I had access to the ideas in Marshall Goldsmith's book years ago, I would probably be better off. At my advanced age, I have spent too much time working for myself. Sure, I recognize the importance of teams and team work. But I refer descending from my aerie, joining the team, completing the project and returning to the solace of personal contemplation Years ago, I found this works best for me. Goldsmith, an executive coach, argues in his … more
This book is a "great gift" from Marshall Goldsmith to his reader. How so? In the Coda, he suggests this exercise: "Imagine that you are 95 years old and ready to die." By then you (i.e. the reader) understand what is really important and what isn't, what matters and what doesn't. "What advice would this wise `old you' have for the `you' who is [receiving the advice]? Take your time and answer the question on two levels: personal advice and professional advice. Jot down a … more
Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
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