on February 2, 2010
Years ago a consultant I respect said "one of the most important things I have learned in dealing with clients is not finding the right answer but finding a way to communicate the right answer so they accept it"
I have not met Marshall Goldsmith personally but I presume he excels at this type of verbal communication because he has the rare quality to do this with the written word. This is why there is little doubt this book will be a best seller like his earlier book "What Got You Here Won't Get You There."
Here are just 10 excerpts from Mojo that resonated with me.
1. "The good news is that nearly all of the challenges we'll deal with here have simple--although not easy--solutions (there is a difference between simple and easy)." Goldsmith provides these tools in the latter sections of the book.
2. "...but sometimes no matter how positive we feel about what we are doing, we fail at showing it on the outside. We are so focused on completing our task that we assume people can read our hearts and minds. We think our good intentions should be obvious. They can't possibly be misconstrued."
3. "...the Mojo Paradox...Our default response in life is to not experience happiness. Our default response in life is to not experience meaning. Our default response in life is to experience inertia...our most common everyday process-the thing we do more than anything else-is to continue doing what we are already doing."
4. "Very few people achieve positive lasting change without ongoing follow-up."
5. "As you go through your day...evaluate every activity on a 1 to 10 scale...on two simple questions. 1. How much long-term benefit or meaning did I experience from this activity? 2. How much short-term satisfaction or happiness did I experience from this activity?"
6. "One of the greatest obstacles to changing our Mojo is here-in the paralysis we create with the self limiting definitions of who we are."
7. "...we confuse our need to consider ourselves to be smart with our need to be considered effective by the world...One of the most pernicious impulses of successful people is our overwhelming need to prove how smart we are...I say its pernicious because the need to be "the smartest person in the room" often leads to some incredibly stupid behavior."
8. "A company named DDI did some fascinating research that showed the average American spends 15 hours a month criticizing or complaining about their boss."
9. "These four "losing" arguments all have the same results...only lower our Mojo... 1. Let me keep talking... 2. I had it rougher than you... 3. Why did you do that... 4. It's not fair."
10. "If I could write a headline that sums up the last ten years of the American (and other rich country's) workplace-and the next thirty years as well-it would be this: "That Job is Gone!" That's the cold water I'd throw in the face of every man or woman who thinks his or her future can be understood by looking nostalgically to the past."
Goldsmith is a master at integrating and emphasizing his points with stories. He unequivocally states in Chapter 16 "This is a self help book."
I have learned the cost of a self help book is not the price you pay...that cost is simply out of pocket costs. The time you invest in reading and applying what is inside is the real price and this book is well worth your time and effort.
Dr. James T. Brown, PMP PE CSP
Author - The Handbook of Program Management
on February 6, 2010
I was blessed to see Marshall Goldsmith speak in person this week in New York City. After hearing his remarks I couldn't help but dive into his latest book. He has struck gold again. Marshall has pulled together new research (done with his daughter) and all his 30 years of experience in coaching others to give us practical tips on how to succeed (defined as finding meaning and happiness both at work and at home). He blows away some of the age old myths (like the number of hours you work impacts your satisfaction) and replaces them with new inspiring beliefs ('Doing what matters has more impact on your happiness than pursuing stimulating activities'). He also provides specific insights into how you can effect sustained change in your life (which few people are able to do over time)- and thereby thrive (keep your MOJO) in a NOJO ('no joy') world. It is a must read for anyone striving to become better (and happier) in their life.
on February 15, 2010
I have always known when my own mojo was up and when it was down. I never stopped, however, to define it, understand it or know how to modify it in a proactive way Marshall takes that very hard-to-define word and gives it a very specific meaning. He provides his readers with numerous ways to assess themselves. Each of these methods unpeels another mojo layer and provides action steps for the user. His questionnaires are well thought through and practical. They cause the reader to do some very important soul searching.
Marshall gives us all a gift. I can't imagine anyone coming away from this book without leaving markers on many "return to" pages and making some (even small) commitment to change.
on February 9, 2010
This is the best, most fully-realized book Marshall Goldsmith has written so far.
I have always appreciated his work and writing as offering excellent tips and insights for the individuals I work with in my coaching practice. He's been the quirky, bemused, brilliant outsider who is able to shift the focus an perspective of those under his "care," - his own clients, we readers, and those around him.
This book is broader, and, frankly, deeper. He focuses on the essential inner drivers that create the outward behaviors. He asks, "Why are successful people successful?" as he always does, but this time, it's in-side out vs. outside-in - that is, how do our values lead our behaviors, our charisma, our power, success, our "juice," our "Mojo." He doesn't judge those values; he notes our need for them as a fact, then offers significant guidance and structure about how to stay connected with them.
And he adds to his normal role of objective observer. It reads like his own journey, as an extremely successful coach, teacher, speaker, author and guide. Marshall is more "in" this book than in other books, and so somehow it felt more real than simply another book of tips. You want to get, or get back Mojo, win the game, fly high and be successful, read this book, and follow its advice. You want to live an awesome life, be happy, purposeful, charismatic and committed....same advice.
on February 17, 2010
In my executive coaching and consulting work, I sometimes meet people who have their "mojo" compromised or significantly diminished. Lack of or no "mojo" is becoming a huge problem in our difficult economy. Marshall Goldsmith has his finger on the pulse of what really matters in business and in life in his latest book Mojo. This is a must read for anyone who feels their positive spirit is leaving them. Because Mojo is about happiness and fulfillment in life, it's also a must read for anyone who dreams about what their life could be. I highly recommend it!
Mary Key, Ph.D.
Author of CEO Road Rules: Right Focus, Right People, Right Execution
on June 3, 2010
Fundamentally, this book was about living a life with happiness and purpose.
There were a couple powerful ideas that I took away from this book. One was that "we continue doing what we're doing even when we no longer want to do it".
This is slightly different, although roughly similar to the theme of Marshall's other book "What Got You Here Won't Get You There". What we need to STOP doing is just as important as what we need to START doing. Similar theories have been espoused in business articles from Jim Collins and by Seth Godin in his book, "The Dip".
In "Mojo", this particular point is best illustrated by one key sentence: "The most reliable predictor of what you will be doing five minutes from now is what you are doing now". Simple, yet extremely insightful, in my opinion.
This book is more than theory though. It goes on to show how to practically evaluate all your daily activities to figure out which ones are worth continuing and which ones you should stop. The framework is a "Mojo Scorecard" and there are example cards in both the book and on the accompanying website.
I don't want to spoil it here, but my other key take away (and favorite part of the book) was the Coda. It is at the end (starting on page 183 of the hardcover edition). It is only two pages long. It's titled "You Go First" and has one of the most important life lessons I have ever read, especially for parents. If I could urge you do one thing, it would be to go to your local library or bookstore and read the Coda.
on February 10, 2010
In his latest book, MOJO: How To Get It, How To Keep It, How To Get It Back If You Lose It, Marshall Goldsmith, along with co-author Mark Reiter, has hit another home run. Following on the heels of his blockbuster book What Got You Here, Won't Get You There, he gives us MOJO that dishes up another heaping serving of vintage Goldsmith: Smart, straightforward, and significant stuff for success. Simply put, Marshall, ably filling the shoes of the late Peter Drucker, describes ultimate life goals--Happiness and Meaning--and shows us how MOJO can get us there. Marshall describes this MOJO as "that positive spirit toward what we are doing now that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside." And if you've ever had the opportunity to see Marshall teach, you'll see MOJO in action. This book contains loads of easy-to-read examples, heartfelt stories, original research, and plain old hard-won experience and wisdom. It's the kind of book you want to give to your friends, coworkers and especially to your family members and say: "Here, don't take my word for it (the importance of happiness and meaning in life), read Marshall Goldsmith's newest book!
on July 29, 2010
Some call it a hot streak, others, momentum, flow or good karma. Marshall Goldsmith, one of America's top executive coaches calls it mojo, and he has written this book to define it, explore the components of it and help us see why we want it, and how to get it.
In an early chapter in the book Goldsmith shares what he calls the Mojo Paradox. It is:
Our default response in life is not to experience happiness. Our default response in life is not to experience meaning. Our default experience in life is to experience inertia.
From this paradox, he moves forward to help us get past that inertia in thoughtful, conscious ways so we can create more happiness, more meaning and more mojo.
The book then explains the four building blocks of Mojo and how to use them in your life. Those blocks are:
Often in this space I will recommend books that have a focus more applicable to some people, based on their professional interests. This is not one of those books. If you are interested in having more happiness and a more meaningful life, this book will help you think about that and give you specific ideas about how to make that happen. And it all comes from one of the best executive coaches on the planet. That makes the few dollars spent a darn good investment!
I've read this on my Kindle (Amazon link to Kindle with my with affiliate code) and wish I hadn't - not because I didn't want to read it, but because this is one of those books I would have taken a few notes in the margins and highlighted some sections. This book challenged me to think and reflect and will help me both professionally and personally to get - and keep - my mojo.
It is hard to beat that!
on January 22, 2012
As the author defines it : "Mojo is that positive spirit toward what we are doing now that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside." He continues: "That's the payoff of having Mojo. More meaning. More happiness."
The book then expands on what are the foundational elements of Mojo: "Four vital ingredients need to be combined in order for you to have great Mojo. The first is your identity...The second element is achievement...The third element is reputation...The fourth element to building Mojo is acceptance...By understanding the impact and interaction of identity, achievement, reputation, and acceptance, we can begin alter our own Mojo - both at work and home." After spending time explaining and illustrating each of these areas, Marshall then presents a complete toolkit of actions one can take to build/improve one's Mojo. I have included below excerpts that further summarize these concepts.
What I particularly enjoyed about this book is the thoroughness in which the topic is covered: from summarizing the concepts, to explaining them and giving practical examples illustrating them, to finally presenting a toolkit on how to apply them. A recommended read that complements well Marshall's other work: What Got You Here, Won't Get You There.
Below are some excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:
1) "Measuring your Mojo:
-Professional Mojo: What I being to this activity - 1) Motivation, 2) Knowledge, 3) Ability, 4) Confidence, 5) Authenticity
-Personal Mojo: What this activity brings to me - 6) Happiness, 7) Reward, 8) Meaning, 9) Learning, 10) Gratitude"
2) "Mojo Paradox: Our default response in life is not to experience happiness. Our default response in life is not to experience meaning. Our default response in life is to experience inertia."
3) "To understand how you are relating to any activity, you need to understand your identity - who you are. To change your Mojo, you may need to either create a new identity for yourself or rediscover an identity that you have lost."
4) "If we want to increase our Mojo, we can either change the degree of our achievement - how well we are doing - or change the definition of our achievement - what we are trying to do well."
5) "...Worrying about the past and being anxious about the future can easily destroy our Mojo. It upsets us emotionally. It clouds our judgement. It dills us with regret. And it can lead to self-punishment. This sort of thinking afflicts the high and the low, the rich and the poor, the achievers and the struggling."
6) "Mojo Killers: 1) Over-Committing, 2) Waiting for the facts to change, 3) Looking for logic in all the wrong places, 4) Bashing the boss, 5) Refusing to change because of "Sunk Costs", 6) Confusing the mode you're in"
7) "In this new world, Mojo is both harder to attain and more important to keep. When your competition is already responding to a tough new environment bu working harder and longer, you need unique tools to separate yourself from the throng."
8) "The following is a list of specific actions that can help you attack the challenge of changing You or It...1) Establish criteria that matter to you 2) Find out where you're living 3) Be the optimist in the room 4) Take away one thing 5) Rebuild one brick at a time 6) Live your mission in the small moments too 7) Swim in the Blue Water 8) When to stay, when to go 9) Hello, good-bye 10) Adopt a metrics system 11) Reduce this number 12) Influence up as well as down 13) Name it, frame it, claim it 14) Give your friends a lifetime pass."
9) "...All of us, consciously or not, run everything through two filters: short-term satisfaction (or happiness) and long-term benefit (or meaning). Both have value."
10) "When you have mission, you give yourself a purpose - and that adds clarity to all the actions and decisions that follow. There's an underestimated value to articulating your mission: It focuses you, points you in a new direction, alters your behavior, and as a result, changes other people's perception of you."
on March 7, 2010
MOJO is a superb follow-up book to What Got You Here Won't Get You There. While it may be hard to believe, MOJO is of higher quality, driving home countless pieces of ageless wisdom while consistently 'warming the belly'. Read at your pace and delight, the gripping and vascular nature of this book will have you captivated from start to finish, propelling your mind to voraciously ingest as much information as humanly possible.
More to the point, find out who you are and what may be missing by thoughtfully exploring identity (reflected, programmed, remembered, and created). As all 4 of these identities contribute to your personhood, begin to understand yourself more fully and find out how to make the most of life now and in the future! In addition, get familiar with the 4 keys (identity, achievement, reputation, and acceptance) to open up limitless new possibilities in all aspects of your life, not just the personal side of it.
If there is 1 book that you need to read in the year 2010, this is it. By reading this book, a new level of personal awareness will be discovered, launching you to a new echelon of society that is free from the shackles of negative self-perceptions, nay-sayers, and people who get wrapped up in detrimental patterns of thinking.
If you want to run with the best, read the best - read MOJO. It's never too late to reignite your passion before it is over.