What Got You Here Won't Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith

I read What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: Discover the 20 Workplace Habits You Need to Break by Marshall Goldsmith in January 2008, but strangely reading about positive psychology has made me think about the ideas in What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.

This can probably be explained by the fact that the books I read about positive psychology and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There both discuss how to improve yourself and your life. Just using very different philosophies and techniques.

Personally, I found What Got You Here Won’t Get You There to be one of the best books I’ve read about becoming more successful in business as well as life.

Goldsmith, an executive coach, educates us about 20 “transactional flaws” (bad habits) that may prevent us from accomplishing our professional and personal goals. What I love about this book is that it does not talk down to the reader; in fact this book is aimed towards already successful people who want to become even more successful!

While I haven’t made much of an effort to apply the principles of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There to my own life yet, it was eye-opening to read about what my flaws are and how they prevent me from accomplishing even more.

I found the list of “transactional flaws” so interesting that I really want to share it with you all, but I’d be spoiling the book for you if I did that and this book is fantastic and really worth reading. I’d hate to rob you of that experience.

Also, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There includes an appendix of the Global Leadership Inventory, which was developed as part of a research project (sponsored by Accenture) involving 200 specially selected high-potential leaders from 120 companies around the world. To apply it in your own life, you would rate yourself (or another person) on each of the 72 characteristics leaders on a five-point scale, ranging from Highly Satisfied to Highly Dissatisfied. The characteristics are organized into the following groups:

  • Thinking Globally
  • Appreciating Diversity
  • Developing Technological Savvy
  • Building Partnerships
  • Sharing Leadership
  • Creating a Shared Vision
  • Developing People
  • Empowering People
  • Achieving Personal Mastery
  • Encourages Constructive Dialogue
  • Demonstrates Integrity
  • Leading Change
  • Anticipating Opportunities
  • Ensuring Customer Satisfaction
  • Maintaining a Competitive Advantage

If you’re curious about What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, you may be interested in the Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments xi
The Trouble with Success
You Are Here 3
Enough About You 11
The Success Delusion, or Why We Resist Change 16
The Twenty Habits That Hold You Back from the Top
The Twenty Habits 35
The Twenty-First Habit: Goal Obsession 99
How We Can Change for the Better
Feedback 111
Apologizing 136
Telling the World, or Advertising 142
Listening 147
Thanking 157
Following Up 161
Practicing Feedforward 170
Pulling Out the Stops
Changing: The Rules 179
Special Challenges for People in Charge 199
Coda: You Are Here Now 221
Appendix 225
Index 231

Click here to download the 800-CEO-READ Podcast interview with Goldsmith.

Or click here to watch Goldsmith‘s talk at Google in October 2007 about What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.

And if you really want to learn more, visit the author’s website by clicking here; you’ll find an abundance of high quality free articles, videos, audio files, and other advice by Goldsmith.


One response to “What Got You Here Won't Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith

  1. Pingback: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: Transactional Flaws « Adventures in Reading

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