What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith

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What Got You Here Won't Get You There Book Cover What Got You Here Won't Get You There
Marshall Goldsmith
Profile Books
September 3, 2010

Unparalleled materials on self improvement in the work force.   The author reminds us that people can't improve on all aspects simultaneously (even though successful people want to get better at everything they do) it's important to follow this rule.

Will come back for a 2nd, 3rd and 4rd read real soon!

5 Stars.

If you want to read my notes from the book, click Continue Reading --->

“Put a comma in the wrong place, and the whole sentence is screwed up”

How the method of improving a successful person works – Solicit 360 feedback from people up down and sideways of the chain of command as well as family members for a comprehensive assessment of their strengths and weaknesses.

Then, confront them with what everybody thinks about them.

Assuming they accept this information, agree they have room to improve and commit to changing that behavior, then show them how to do it.

Help them apologize to anyone affected by their flawed behavior (as it’s the only way to erase the negative baggage associated with their prior actions) and ask the same people for help in getting better. Help them advertise their efforts in getting better because you have to tell people that you’re trying to change (they won’t notice this on their own). Then, help them follow up every month or so with their colleagues because it’s the only honest way in finding out how you’re doing and also reminds people that you’re trying.

The important part is to listen to criticisms without prejudice and the only proper response is gratitude (say thank you without ruining the gesture) and them use feed forward

4 key beliefs help us become successful, each can make it tough for us to change. These beliefs that carry us here, maybe the ones that holds us back from getting there

  1. I have succeeded
  2. I can succeed – One of the greatest mistakes of successful people is the assumption”I am successful. I behave this way. Therefore I must be successful because I behave this way. The challenge is to see that sometimes they are successful in spite of this behavior
  3. I will succeed –
  4. I choose to succeed

People’s usually have 4 items that are their hot button

  1. Money
  2. Power
  3. Status
  4. Popularity

Instead of focusing only a to do list, you need to have a not to do list as sometimes those things are as important as to dos

Most of the times we focus on what to do instead of what not to do.

If we’re perceived as not nice people. Instead of saying, I need to become nicer (something that requires changing half a dozen character traits and is almost impossible to do), we should say “I need to stop being a jerk”

The 20 Habits that hold you from making it to the top –

  1. Winning too much – The need to win at all time and in all situations. When it matters, when it doesn’t and when it besides the point
  2. Adding too much value
  3. Passing judgement – You’re not allowed to judge any helpful comment offered by a friend, colleague or family member. Hear the person out, say thank you and keep your comments for yourself. Be completely natural. You can say “Thanks, I haven’t considered it” or “Thanks, you’ve giving me something to think about”
  4. Making destructive comments. How to avoid? Ask yourself: “Will this comment help my customer” “Will this comment help my company?” “Will this comment help the person I’m talking to” “will this comment help the person I’m talking about?”
  5. Starting with “No” “But” or “However” – When this is how you start your reply, no matter how cute your tone is, the message to the other person is “You are wrong!”
  6. Telling the world how smart we are – Being smart turns people on. Saying how smart you are, turns people off. How to tone it down? A.  Ask yourself: ”is it worth it for me to say it?” B. Conclude that it isn’t. C. Say thank you
  7. Speaking when angry. How to avoid it? If you keep your mouth shut, no one will know how you feel.
  8. Negativity (or “let me explain to you why that won’t work”). The need to share our negative thoughts even when we’re not asked
  9. Withholding information in hopes of gaining advantage over others
  10. Failing to give proper recognition
  11. Claiming credit that we don’t deserve
  12. Making excuses – No excuse to make excuses. Stop at I’m sorry, don’t continue
  13. Clinging to the past – We use it as a weapon, to highlight something about us at the expense of another person
  14. Playing favorites – How to stop it? Admitting we all play favourites and favour those who favour us, even if we don’t mean to. Then rank our direct reports I’m 3 categories: A. How much do they like me (or how much I think they like me). B. What’s their contribution to the company and its customers. C. How much positive personal recognition we give them.
  15. Refusing to express regret Even if it seems like the hardest thing to do, when you do it, you turn people into your allies and even partners. If you put all your cards in someone else’s hand, this person will treat you better than if you kept the cards to yourself. Benjamin Franklin – “To gain a friend, let him do you a favor”
  16. Not listening – When you’re not listening, you send so many bad messages to the other person “I don’t care about you” “I don’t understand you” “you’re wrong” “you’re stupid” “you’re wasting my time”
  17. Failing to express gratitude – “The two sweetest words in the English language were a person’s first and last name” – Dale Carnegie. The surest way to connect with someone and disarm them, after all who doesn’t like to hear their names on other people’s lips. “Thank You” works the same way. People don’t know how to answer all the times instead of just saying thank you. Hearing people out won’t make you summer so just thank them for trying to help. Almost any other response has the potential of stirring a trouble. Saying Thank You makes people keep talking to you, failing to say thank you shuts them down. “Gratitude is a skill we can never display too often”.
  18. Punishing the messenger – When someone tries to help with something (warning of red light, your shoelaces aren’t tied, or anything else that cost nothing but potentially can help you), just say thank you.
  19. Passing the buck (blaming everyone but ourselves.) – In business, how well you own up to your mistakes makes a bigger impression than how you reveal in your successes.
  20. Excessive need to be me – Less me, more them equal success. It’s not about you, it’s about what others think of you.
  21. Goal obsession – We need to make sure that short term goals don’t cluder our bigger goals (you want to make money to be able to spend more time with your family, don’t neglect them while working on it)

Negative feedback usually focuses on the failed past and not positive future. And we can’t change the past but we sure can change the future.

Negative feedback exists to prove us wrong and our reaction is rarely positive

Negative feedback shuts us down. Change does not happen in this environment.

Though feedback is very useful in telling us where we are and know if we’re getting better or worse

The 4 Commitments

To get 360 feedback you need a confidential feedback from minimum of 8 and max of 30 (average is about 15). You need to ask your client who should be interviewed, last about an hour and focused on the basics:

  • What does my client doing right?
  • What does my client needs to change?
  • And how can they get even better?
  1. Can they let go of the past?
  2. Will they swear to tell the truth?

In soliciting a feedback from someone, there’s only one way of doing it well “How can I do better?”

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