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Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts--Becoming the Person You Want to Be Hardcover – May 19, 2015
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"Triggers provides the self awareness you need to create your own world, rather than being created by the world around you."—Alan Mulally, CEO of the Year (US) and #3 on Fortune magazine's 50 Greatest Leaders in the World (2014)
"Reading Triggers is like talking with Marshall. You get clear, practical, and actionable suggestions."—Ian Read, CEO, Pfizer
"Triggers inspires us to be better people, better leaders, better fellow travelers. 'Creating behavior' is our new battle cry for a bright future."—Frances Hesselbein, President and CEO, The Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute, 1998 Presidential Medal of Freedom Award Recipient
"Marshall is a valuable coach and partner in driving organizational change and performance improvement. Triggers will guide a new group of executives looking to reach their full business and personal potential."
--Brian C. Cornell, Chairman and CEO, Target Corporation
"Marshall Goldsmith is one of the world's foremost experts at helping people get better. In this new book, he provides a rich set of new, practical, life tested ideas, concepts and frameworks that will help those of us who want to change, be the best that we can be, and be the person we want to be."—Hubert Joly, CEO, Best Buy
“I have had the great fortune of working with Marshall for several years. He has helped me in so many ways. Triggers represents a natural progression in Marshall’s work and many of the ideas in it have already helped me and many of his other clients. As with all of his books, I know that Marshall’s focused, practical and insightful approach will help you in leadership, but even more important, it can help you in life!”—Jim Yong Kim, 12th President The World Bank
“Marshall Goldsmith is a great author and world-renowned executive coach. His contribution to our group has been immense and we have greatly benefited by his unparalleled experience and his knowledge. In Triggers he shares illuminating stories from his work with great global leaders. He helps us transform our lives and helps us become more holistic human beings. This is a book worth reading for every practicing professional and for those who aspire to leadership.—GM Rao, CEO GMR Group (India), Indian Entrepreneur of the Year
“How do we create the change we need for our organizations and for ourselves? Marshall Goldsmith is the master of helping us all find that path, avoiding the negative triggers and building upon the triggers that bring out our best. Here, again, he teaches with his unique insight, warmth and positive energy. Our job is to learn and do better, for a better outcome for all, which this book helps guide.”—Tony Marx – CEO New York Public Library
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks…without Marshall Goldsmith’s help. With his coaching, you can change your old behavior to create new outcomes.”—Deanna Mulligan – CEO Guardian Life, Fortune 50 Most Powerful Women in Business
About the Author
Marshall Goldsmith is the leading executive coach in the world and the author of the New York Times bestsellers What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and Mojo. He received his PhD from UCLA Anderson School of Management. His client list is a who’s who of American CEOs. He and his wife live in San Diego.
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I got a 2-star value out of this book but I'm rating it 3 because I think other people will appreciate the casual, story-telling style as much as I disliked it. Self help is a weird genre weird because different authors appeal to different readers. Maybe it'll be right up your alley, but read through the reviews and make sure you know you're not getting a neuroscientist's or academic's take.
This book deserves a mark that exceeds five stars. This book informed, it educated, it impressed, it entertained, and it induced action. I am in the fourth week of assessing my progress toward six personal, behavioral goals (patience, under-controlling of situations, less judgmental/evaluative, more lovingly supportive of my wife, more at peace, and in less of a hurry). I use the charting process suggested by Marshall, and I have created a weekly scoring sheet on which my wife is to give me grade my progress.
Readers might not be impressed with this process, but this is the first time that I have consciously and systematically worked toward important personal/interpersonal goal-improvement. As a licensed user of the MBTI, I have known since 1984 that I have needed to work on some of my ENFJ-behaviors that did not serve me well at times. Marshall’s coaching-in-the-book, his powerful examples of behavior change shared, and the usable resources all combine to compel a reader to take action and make personal progress, so that we might be more effective human beings.
After four weeks, this writer is a more peaceful, patient person from the beginning of each day. My wife and I are having more fun. My urge to “drive the bus” all the time has been significantly reduced, and I am in less of a hurry. Marshall’s focus on progress, I think has been key: “Did I do my best to . . .?” Over time, the focus has become a habit, like a good health habit! And, why not?! Yes, I’ll regress on a variable, and I’ll “own it” and simply choose to get back on the horse the next day and go forward.
Marshall gets it: He realizes that he cannot be effective unless his clients are! He is exemplary in this regard, and he relentlessly and proactively journeys toward being a better leader/coach.
Marshall also models brilliantly, a client-centered/collaborative coaching style as he works with others. He asks the necessary and provocative questions that others need to face if they are to be more effective going forward.
There was just one chapter that fell just a tiny bit short, for me personally. Chapter 16, “Behaving Under the Influence of Depletion”, deals with our behaviors and the outcomes of decisions made when our physical/mental/emotional energy is low. In addition to Marshall’s suggestions in this chapter, the reader might benefit from three topics that might help them and others be more personally effective: personality (introverts), mood theory, and general wellness. Introverts need to give extra time for reflection and self-care before entering their after-hours dwellings and interacting with others, even their pets. Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe is just one book that offers practical suggestions for helping introverts be more personally/interpersonally effective. Helgoe specifically offers proactive ideas for helping deal with the current culture of interruption in our daily lives. For mood theory, The Origin of Everyday Moods by Robert Thayer provides resources and research that can make us aware on an hourly basis whether we are “tired” or “energized”. From that point, we can then determine what our next courses of action need to be to be for greater effectiveness going forward. For example, “extreme” extroverts who are tense-tired near the end of a workday are apt to say or do things that would likely not happen when filled with calm-energy. For overall wellness, Candace Pert’s book, Everything You Need to Feel Good, offers an insightful look at her personal journey regarding the successful resolution of health issues, the latest mind/body-research, and good recommendations regarding websites and authors whose contributions might be beneficial.
In Triggers, Marshall Goldsmith did everything possible to make real and positive behavioral differences for his readers. He certainly made differences that I think will be both positive and lasting for me and for those with whom I interact. Thank you, sir!
Top international reviews
It really makes three simple points.
First, that changing your habits is hard. Really hard. So expect failure and expect it to require a lot of work, not just one magic trick.
Second, your environment makes a huge difference. You need to create triggers that encourage the change you want and avoid triggers that hinder it. Think replacing a packet of biscuits with a bowl of fruit in your kitchen. But think much more broadly too, such as the combination of events which leads to the sort of mindset you might be trying to move away from.
Third, a great way of self-enforcing change is to write out physically every evening your own answers to a series of questions selected to capture the change(s) you want. The very act of making yourself write it down enforces a clarity about how you really did and helps encourage you to do better next time.
There is plenty of colour and detail in the 234 pages of the book though not really that much more of substance. That makes the book very actionable – how much extra detail would you really remember and act on? – if also a little bit of a light read.
The Choice is Yours.
All you have to do is Decide how to Respond rather than Reacting. This book lights the way to break the chain of ancient often counter-productive instincts.