What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

Reading is fun. But not every book is really worth reading it – especially when it comes to business books. Therefore I already started the “Book of the Week” Series, where I share comprehensive abstracts on my favourite books.

Now I want to start another series called: “Business Books” – featuring information on books in a more compact way. Today I would like to present you “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful”, by Goldsmith and Reiter (2007).

Synopsis
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There aspires to help leaders identify behavioral flaws they may possess, see how those habits affect others, and begin to correct those behaviors. He defines twenty behavioral bad habits which can slow career advancement. Marshall Goldsmith sees his role as helping successful people who have misplaced their “you are here” career map. Goldsmith believes successful people typically possess a good work ethic, level of dedication, and knowledge base.

However, these attributes may not be sufficient to get leaders past behavioral roadblocks. The author believes these roadblocks or behavioral “bad habits” can hinder successful people from getting to the next level. Through this book, Goldsmith aspires to help leaders identify behavioral flaws they may possess, show how those habits affect others, and help them begin to correct those behaviors. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There contains a list of twenty habits which can slow career advancement. Goldsmith identifies the excessive need to win as the most common behavioral flaw seen through his experience as an executive coach.

Other behavioral bad habits listed result from arrogance and the inability to take responsibility for problems or failures. In general, Goldsmith believes the behavioral flaws outlined in the book revolve around providing too much or too little information or showing too much or too little emotion. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There defines and describes each behavioral flaw, provides examples of leaders with these behaviors, and then outlines a plan to recognize and manage these behaviors. This plan for positive change begins with feedback followed by apologizing, advertising, listening, thanking, following up, and practicing “feedforward,” which is defined as asking others what we can do to make ourselves better.

Goldsmith does not believe everyone responds to executive development training. In his work, he finds approximately seventy percent of participants make an effort to change after the training sessions. The other thirty percent don’t make an effort usually because, “they were simply too busy.” This suggests a disconnect between understanding and doing. Goldsmith concludes by saying if one truly desires to change their behavior, the best time to change is now.

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