What Got You Here, Won't Get You There:
How Successful People Become Even More Successful!

| Author: Marshall Goldsmith,  2007 |

Ok, how many of us out there as Leaders or Coaches actually find ‘technical’ gaps in our up-and-coming leaders? Not too often! As leaders progress they usually have the necessary technical skills, but often their behaviours, which have become unconscious, annoying habits, sabotage a promising career. Marshall Goldsmith is an expert at helping global leaders overcome these habits. The concepts he outlines in this book, along with some self discipline can help ‘wake up’ unconscious annoying habits and allow leaders to attain a higher level of success. (This guy is the coaches of all coaches, as you will appreciate reading this book.)
Are you really aware of how your behaviour is coming across to the people that matter to you? If you are, what are you doing about it? This book is primarily based on the 20 workplace habits you may need to break. I used some of them in a group feedback session amongst leaders discussing their 360 feedback, it helped set the tone for active listening, and constructive ‘move forward’ feedback!
One my favorite techniques, is simply talking less! Don’t work so hard and stop trying to be the smartest person in the room. Many of the top leaders I work with got to their position by demonstrating aggressive behaviour. Now, striving for executive positions, what got them here, will not get them there, and behavioural change is mandatory to gain respect from the team and be seen as their mentor. By talking less, you can eliminate half of the habits identified!
There is an interesting discussion on the superstitions of great leaders in Chapter 3. It will make you reflect on your own behaviours. For example, we tell ourselves we need to be blunt and direct with people, tell them the way it is because this is what got us here. Or, did we get to this success level ‘in spite’ of this less than attractive behaviour???
“Feed Forward” is also term I have been applying with clients. It promotes letting go of the past and focusing on what can be done better moving forward. Follow-up is the key, getting feedback from others on the future, and moving conversations forward. Great techniques on focusing on future behaviour and rising to action.
The book puts things into perspective in terms of the reality that it is ’harder to change other’s perception than it is to change your behaviour.’ A 100% effort to change may only result in a 10% improvement of perception. It is hard work, vulnerability of your behaviours and seeking feedback from others that can accelerate your career.
From the lost art of a thank you note, to the power of gratitude and appreciation, it is a read I have often come back to. Thank you, fellow coaches of the Center of Executive Coaching, for recommending this one! Oh, and try saying ‘thank you’ to any type of feedback you get. I have and it is working!
I will leave this question with you: What is the one behaviour you can become more conscious of and take action to improve? For ideas and inspiration, I recommend this book to anyone open to making a personal behavioural change. If you don’t have any behaviours that need changing, then that is another issue all in itself! Get an accountability partner or a coach. It is difficult to measure your success through your own goggles. Share your desire to change with others, have them measure it, and your progress will shoot through the roof!
Would love to hear from anyone willing to share their thoughts on this book or a change you are working on.

Reviewed by: Trevor Blondeel