What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

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

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  6,872 ratings  ·  243 reviews
America's most sought-after executive coach shows how to climb the last few rungs of the ladder

The corporate world is filled with executives, men and women who have worked hard for years to reach the upper levels of management. They're intelligent, skilled, and even charismatic. But only a handful of them will ever reach the pinnacle--and as executive coach Marshall Goldsm...more
Kindle Edition, 260 pages
Published (first published January 2007)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Andy Mitchell
The author summarizes 20 of the worst interpersonal habits successful employees exhibit in the workplace:



1) Feeling the need to win too much

2) Adding too much value to a conversation

3) Passing judgment

4) Making destructive comments

5) Starting with "No," "But," or "However"

6) Telling people how smart we are

7) Speaking when angry

8) Negativity, "Let me explain why that won't work"

9) Withholding information

10) Failing to give proper recognition

11) Claiming credit that we don't deserve

12) Making excu...more
Jerry Smith
There is so much good stuff in here. I particularly like te 20 habits section as, although they are common sense things, they all need to be brought up again and again.

The thrust of the book is all about how, as a successful person, you can go to the next level. It also points out how these destructive behaviors don't hold you back until you get to a certain level in a company, then they become a problem.

Some of the points are well made and insightful. So far (having not finished it yet) the bi...more
Robert Chapman
This was the first book I have read written by Marshall Goldsmith, and it most certainly will not be the last. From its title one could think that this is one of those fluffy motivational “change yourself overnight” books. In reality it is anything but that, it’s a grounded and well written book that focuses on the problems which come from moving up the leadership ladder while still retaining old habits.

As the title indicates, the very qualities that get people promoted and make them successful...more
Eva
Copied-and-pasted summary:

1. Winning too much: the need to win at all costs and in all situations - when it matters, when it doesn't, and when it's totally beside the point.

2. Adding value: the overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion.

3. Passing judgment: the need to rate others and impose our standards on them.

4. Making destructive comments: the needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty.

5. Starting with "No," "But," or "However": the o...more
Elizabeth
Where do you want/need to go? Do you have a plan to get there?If not, or ifyour lack of planning has always been a source of anxiety for you, may I suggest you pick up Marshall Goldsmith’s newest book, "What Got You Here Won’t Get You There?"? The book contains 20 habits that hold you back (from getting “there”, remember?) as well as a plethora of other bejewelled nuggets such as how you can change for the better. Here are some of my biggest takeaways which relate to everyone, not just the corpo...more
Rod White
Aug 12, 2007 Rod White rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: junior execs and such
I like practical thoughts from business dudes. They help me keep thinking about how to lead. Goldsmith is helping people not just succeed at being skilled, but succeed at relating well -- that is key to making something worthwhile happen. Kind of a "duh!" -- but it is amazing what we don't think about, once we are in the habits of being jerks.
Megan
Really? You couldn't have told me all this in like 10 pages. I felt like he kept saying the same thing over, and over, and over again. Commonsense 101, how unfortunate that we live in a society that has to write a book to tell people you should send a thank you note. Isn't that a sweet little lesson grandma's teach you when your four?
Sebah
لم يعجبني كثيرا. الكتاب يخاطب جمهورا محددا لا أنتمي له (المدراء) و يسلط الضوء على ممارسات تعيقهم من أن يصبحوا أفضل ثم يقدم ممارسات تساعدهم على التحسين.

مع ذلك، أعجبتني كثيرا فكرة مفادها في هذا الاقتباس:
"Almost everyone I meet is successful because of doing a lot of things right, and almost everyone I meet is successful in spite of some behavior that defies common sense." (italics in original)
ثم يذكر أن أحد أهم العوائق بشكل عام للنجاح هي في عدم التمييز بين التصرفات التي بسببها نجحنا و بين التصرفات...more
John
Surprisingly useful, IMHO. This is useful to a wide range of people, with professional and personal applications, but it really addresses the issues that face people who are near the top of their game. Goldsmith points out that we ALL have issues, and he makes the range of issues painfully clear.

Do you take credit for what other people do? Do you share enough information? Do you say thank you? Are you too focused on the goal? No doubt, you're fine on these. That's ok; there are 17 more where the...more
Ganesh Ramakrishnan
One of the blurbs on the back cover of the book quotes WSJ saying that Marshall Goldsmith is the #1 executive coach who charges a six figure dollar fee for his coaching services and that we can get that same advice for 20-odd dollars. Believe me, it's true.

This book is a must-read for any person holding positions of authority (leaders) who have tasted success in life. The same qualities that gave us success become roadblocks for moving to the next level, and blind us to our bad habits.

The author...more
Jonny99
A more accurate subtitle might be ”Just Be Nice”. Apparently getting to the corner office on the top floor just requires much of what your kindergarten teacher tried to impart on you: listen to people, say ”please” and ”thank you” and always use your inside voice. Goldsmith and Reiter claim these principles are gleamed from hundreds of coaching sessions with CEO’s and their direct reports. Where are these magical companies where nice guys finish first and what do they manufacture? Sunbeams? Rain...more
Diane
Members of my department were given a list of 20 communications downfalls and told to assess our co-workers. It didn't flow right and I looked up the list and found it was a misapplied excerpt from this book. So, I read the book.

It does have excellent advices, likely bad habits to be aware of, and suggested (and reasonable) ways to improve IF you are a manager. If you are the low person in the organizational structure, (e.g. me) not nearly as useful in the working world.

However, there are severa...more
Mike
This book was recommended by many of the professors in my MBA program. It describes the way that technical skills become less important as you move forward in your career. Other soft or interpersonal skills become more important. I have seen this happen in my own career path and agree with the idea.

In the book, Goldsmith outlines 20 common vices that managers have. They are simple things that we just need to stop doing in order to be even more successful. He also outlines some important things t...more
Michelle
One of the first business books I read, it helped me to move my career along. I learned how important your behaviour, appearance and actions can affect change in your job. The importance of listening, apologizing and thanking and how they can move mountains. If your career is in a rut, there are things you can do to change that. This book highlights the Twenty Habits that hold you back from the top and how we can change for the better.
From the book: "If we can stop, listen and think about what o...more
Earl Gray
Marshall Goldsmith broke me of the habit of using the word, "but." He gave me the list of 20 things to stop doing, and he provided the first encounter I ever had of the importance of having a "to don't list."

If you coach people, this is your opportunity to learn from a remarkable executive coach and apply the lessons and principles to the people you are coaching. A side benefit is that Goldsmith makes such a compelling case for everything he proposes that you will end up applying them to yoursel...more
Laura Hall
Great book for anyone who wants to better themselves at work, at home and at life. Talks about hue our habits can hold us back from moving forward. What may have worked for me in getting from there to here may be holding me back from getting to where I want to go next.

The book not only describes 20 habits that can hinder forward movement it also gives helpful info on how to overcome those habits.

Highly recommend for anyone that wants to move ahead in work and life!




Zooney
It felt good to read some stuff in this book because it confirmed through examples that being the better person(like saying "Thank you" in response to a negative comment) is the winning behavior.

It was boring in some parts though, and it felt like it was repeating itself a lot.
Sanjeev Roy
As a practicing Executive Coach, cant think of a better book.
Great read for any senior corporate executive.
Roger
Another one of my books to get a black belt in - I've been through it about 6 times! Great one!
Brendan
When I started reading, I wrote a two-page essay about why the author doesn't know what he's talking about. But, for the sake of learning I read on. Then it hit me. He was spot on in his observations. And I was one of those not me people. I learned a great deal about myself and took many notes on ways to continually improve myself.

What drew me in initially was the premise that we do certain things to get promoted or recognized. There are certain characteristics about us that make us exceptional...more
Stacy
This book is full of fix yourself ideas. Much of this I feel I already practice unknowingly and hearing the reason behind the actions make me understand and as pointed out to me by a colleague will help me to prefect those actions even further. Some items on the other hand I do need to work on. I was hoping to find on the web site so sort of worksheet or followup to help. There is no such material. I emailed Marshall and he emailed me back that the items were on Amazon but they are not. I am wai...more
Shannon
Great book, quick read. I read it because it was on my PMI Chapter's Book Club list for last month. There wasn't much earth-shattering in it, but it does make you think more objectively about yourself and those around you. I loved all of the real world examples that were given to illustrate points. I did come out with a few things that I want to improve in myself from reading this book. One of the coolest things I read was doing a "root cause" on what would happen if you changed - why you want t...more
FreshGrads .Sg
"What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful" by career coach Marshall Goldsmith is one book that highlights the uncannily obvious interpersonal issues that already successful persons are often blind to and provides instructions on how to overcome them to remain successful.

Instead of telling us what to do, he chooses to tell readers what not to do. The career advice book works largely by challenging the reader to identify common pitfalls such as overe...more
Crys
Is success is the greatest barrier to success? Maybe.

It's easier to believe that our success is the results of intellect, technical abilities and good old tenacity -- the whole boot straps thing, right? The American way. This book exposes an unpleasant truth. Often times our success depends how well we work with superiors, subordinates and peers. And not always even how we work with them, but how they perceiveus.

This book is not for the faint of heart. From the opening pages, I was incredibly...more
Daniel Silvert
This is not a book for the squeamish. In "What Go You Here Won’t Get You There", Marshall Goldsmith takes readers down the corporate corridor of behavioral horror, detailing with a knowing eye and wicked mirth how self centered, myopic, egotistical, and down right obnoxious the most ‘successful’ of executives can be. The author’s premise is that many leaders make a fundamental error regarding their behavioral foibles: “I behave this way, and I achieve results. Therefore, I must be achieving resu...more
Madeline Wright
What Got You Here Won't Get You There  How Successful People Become Even More Successful
Key takeaways: appreciate friends and family, improve your focus, be a better listener, and follow your dreams.
"The best time to change is now."

What Got You Here Won't Get You There, by Marshall Goldsmith, is a book about successful professionals hitting a ceiling, not due to limited talents, but due to lack of soft-skill development, including focusing, listening, and just not making the effort to improve. This five-cd audio-book goes through many case studies about successful clients that th...more
Jay
As an executive coach, Marshall Goldsmith is known for helping successful people become even more successful, and this book provides an overview of his methods for those of us who are unwilling or unable to hire him directly.

The thesis of the book is that for successful people, social flaws which create problems for colleagues are the limiting factor of success. THe book draws on his decades of 360 degree feedback reports -- his tool of choice -- on his clients. From these feedback reports, Gol...more
Annie
The book lists 21 bad behaviors that can stalk an executive's career. The list is not an earth shattering revelation, such as competitive even for trivia matters, desire to add two cents to every conversation, overuse of "no", "but", and "however", inability to praise, and deflecting blame for any wrongdoing. I think the author is probably a good consultant but not a good writer. He uses a lot of sports analogy and sometimes poorly applied, like comparing the gripping of a golf club to listening...more
Greg
Quite a good book, and worth the read for anyone interested in professional development. Marshall Goldmsith is a preeminent executive coach, and in this book, he outlines his thoughts on a number of different issues for personal and professional development.

He addresses twenty habits that become obstacles for many people, including:

1. Winning too much
2. Adding too much value
3. Passing judgment
4. Making destructive comments
5. Starting with "No," "But," or "However"
6. Telling the world how smart...more
Nathaniel Turner
In many ways, this is a typical "leadership" book. Like most leadership books, it focuses on probable social foibles practiced by the reader, and--like most leadership books--it offers solutions.

The message of the book itself is relatively simple. In terms couched in religion, "Put others before yourself." Goldsmith, a Buddhist, explains that placing others first benefits you in the long run. Ignoring for a moment the selfishness still inherent in this mindset, he's not wrong. The best way to le...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Bankable Business Plans
  • Learning from the Future: Competitive Foresight Scenarios
  • Results Without Authority: Controlling a Project When the Team Doesn't Report to You - A Project Manager's Guide
  • Value-Based Fees: How to Charge - and Get - What You're Worth (The Ultimate Consultant Series)
  • Turning Numbers into Knowledge: Mastering the Art of Problem Solving
  • The New Leader's 100-Day Action Plan: How to Take Charge, Build Your Team, and Get Immediate Results
  • Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life
  • 12: The Elements of Great Managing
  • 3-D Negotiation: Powerful Tools to Change the Game in Your Most Important Deals
  • The Halo Effect: ... and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers
  • Marketing Metrics: 50+ Metrics Every Executive Should Master
  • Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies
  • Indispensable: How to Become the Company That Your Customers Can't Live Without
  • Self-Directed Behavior: Self-Modification for Personal Adjustment
  • Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten
  • Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload
  • The New Business Road Test: What Entrepeneurs and Executives Should Do Before Writing a Business Plan
  • 45 Effective Ways for Hiring Smart! : How to Predict Winners and Losers in the Incredibly Expensive People-Reading Game
Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It Learn Like a Leader: Today's Top Leaders Share Their Learning Journeys Global Leadership: The Next Generation (Financial Times (Prentice Hall)) Succession: Are You Ready? Take It to the Next Level: What Got You Here, Won't Get You There

Share This Book

“Overcommitment can be as serious an obstacle to change as believing that you don’t need fixing or that your flaws are part of the reason you’re successful.” 1 likes
“A leader who cannot shoulder the blame is not someone we will follow blindly into battle. We instinctively question that individual’s character, dependability, and loyalty to us. And so we hold back on our loyalty to him or her.” 0 likes
More quotes…