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What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful Hardcover – January 9, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Goldsmith, an executive coach to the corporate elite, pinpoints 20 bad habits that stifle already successful careers as well as personal goals like succeeding in marriage or as a parent. Most are common behavioral problems, such as speaking when angry, which even the author is prone to do when dealing with a teenage daughter's belly ring. Though Goldsmith deals with touchy-feely material more typical of a self-help book—such as learning to listen or letting go of the past—his approach to curing self-destructive behavior is much harder-edged. For instance, he does not suggest sensitivity training for those prone to voicing morale-deflating sarcasm. His advice is to stop doing it. To stimulate behavior change, he suggests imposing fines (e.g., $10 for each infraction), asserting that monetary penalties can yield results by lunchtime. While Goldsmith's advice applies to everyone, the highly successful audience he targets may be the least likely to seek out his book without a direct order from someone higher up. As he points out, they are apt to attribute their success to their bad behavior. Still, that may allow the less successful to gain ground by improving their people skills first. (Jan. 2)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
By now, the CEO as celebrity is old hat. (Just start counting the books from former company heads.) That goes for the executive-recruiter-cum-president-makers. What has yet to be explored--until now--is the celebrity business coach, the individual who helps C-level executives correct flaws, whether invisible or public. A frequent interviewee in major business magazines like Fortune, Goldsmith, with the sage help and advice of his collaborator Reiter, pens a self-help career book, filled with disguised anecdotes and candid dialogue, all soon slated for bestsellerdom. His steps in coaching for success are simple, honest, without artifice: gather feedback from appropriate colleagues and cohorts, determine which behaviors to change (and remember, Goldsmith specifically focuses on behavior, not skills or knowledge), apologize, advertise, listen, thank, follow up, and practice feed-forward. Admittedly, this shrewd organizational psychologist only works with leaders he knows will listen, follow advice, and change--especially considering that he doesn't receive fees until improvements are secure and visible. On the other hand, these are words and processes anyone will benefit from, whether wannabe manager or senior executive. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
As a corollary, I also felt the author perceived the world with a "cop's fallacy". Police officers sometimes assume everyone in a certain neighborhood or of a certain demographic is scum, because they are only called in to deal with crime, so most people they deal with in that neighborhood or demographic are criminals. Much in the same way, Goldsmith seems to believe that all successful people are arrogant and overconfident, when the truth is more likely that successful people who are not hugely arrogant do not lead their employers to hire a consultant like Goldsmith to fix their behavioral issues, so he doesn't interact with them.
Marshall Goldsmith digs into why some successful people stall in their professional advancement, and details his work helping said professionals. Goldsmith shares that as one moves higher in an organization, specific technical skills are a given, and interpersonal dynamics guides the course of careers. As a result, Goldsmith provides a thoughtful list of 20 + 1 hindering interpersonal habits that he has seen waylay professionals on their career path. Rather than simply stating, "you're a jerk and you should change," Goldsmith walks through the guidance he provides his clients on changing the hindering habit they have. My favorite part was the detailed list of habits. That helped me process through the harmful habits I have, and how I can focus my efforts to grow personally and professionally.
Having picked it up recently for a thorough re-read (and being in a very different place in my career, business, and life!) I can tell you that this book is a profound piece of self-improvement.
For successful people who can't see their own obstacles (ie ALL of us!), this video review will show you exactly WHY Marshall's book deserves a place in YOUR executive library and why you'll dog-ear, post-it-note, and mark it up like a madman like I did.
-- David Newman, author of Do It! Marketing: 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition
When an executive displays too many of these habits, his or her staff can spend too much time tending to the executive's ego rather than being productive. When people get the message that their ideas can never compare with the boss's, communication becomes strained and morale suffers. Goldsmith combats this pattern with a seven-step plan: accepting feedback without argument, apologizing, telling the world you've apologized, listening without interrupting, thanking others, following up on efforts to improve, and practice "feedforwarding" - asking for feedback on your progress. A little behavior modification in the workplace goes a long way in an office environment.
When you find yourself engaging in any of the 20 bad habits, Goldsmith says "Stop it!" and choose another way, without excuses as to why you can't change. His approach does not detract from personal achievements, but helps one put them in perspective. Anyone can change to become a better team player and a better person.
Goldsmith based the book on his experience with his high profile clients, but the suggestions are good for anyone open to some self-analysis about how they interact with others. I find it is good advice to pass along to my clients and highly recommend this book as a starting point for those who aspire to be highly effective in their careers.