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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  ·  11,046 ratings  ·  343 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
Kindle Edition, 260 pages
Published (first published January 2007)
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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
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
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
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
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
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?
Luke Starbuck
Excellent read for any leader. Critical insights about your own behavior and how it affects those who work with you.
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.
Ije the Devourer of Books
I don't normally read management text books and I would much rather have read something else, but I was sent on a leadership programme by my employers and this book was compulsory reading for the programme.

At first I found the book very hard going. It is written for top CEO's in the business sector and I am a middle level programme manager in a public sector organisation. It was hard getting to grips with the text because so much of the material was just not relevant to me or my working life. I
Fares Alahdab
This is a great book filled with many recipes for a better daily life and tomorrow of successful people. Although most of it is anecdotes and rhetoric stories of interactions the author had with many important and very successful CEOs/CFOs and other figures, but it is useful to the entrepreneurs who are just starting up and even to the regular mid-level office worker.

I particularly love how the author ended the book with a surge of impulse for a better tomorrow before your time runs out!

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
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
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
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
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
I absolutely loved this book. I liked how it gave you the opportunity to self-reflect, then offered some sort of solution towards the right direction. If someone is able to take an honest look in the mirror to see what bad habits they might have at work, or even at home, I really recommend this book. This has to be in my top five favorite books and I will probably recommend it to others.
Whatever Marshall Goldsmith paid co-author/ghost writer Mark Reiter, it was too much money. The weak writing diminishes the power of the twenty "transactional flaws performed by one person against others".
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
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
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
Daniel Dawson
An absolutely terrific book. Should have read this one in high school. Follow up system is great. So many good insights. Information compulsion, feedforward, etc. A MUST READ.

“I wish I could turn flaws into life threatening diseases - because it would compel them to change, on pain of death.”

Apologize…. advertise...follow up… listen….gratitude…. feedforward.

“If you were born on third base, you shouldn’t think you hit a triple.”

“People will do something - including changing their behavior - only
R. Smith
This is such an insightful book. So often "ambitious types" want to climb the ladder of success, thinking that skills and tactics that made them successful at the lower run of the ladder will serve them well on each successive run of the ladder. The problem is that different skill sets and tactics are often required at higher levels on the ladder of success. Hence the title of this book: "What Got You Here Won't Get You There." They are skill sets and tactics that are readily learned but sooner, ...more
Nazrul Buang
Finally finished reading "What Got You Here Won't Get You There" (2007) by Marshall Goldsmith. A short and handy book with many tips and advice, this book explains anecdotally how one can choose to be a better person at the workplace regardless of position by improving his/her interpersonal skills and understanding better.

Goldsmith comes from the Peter Drucker school of thought, believing that everyone in an organization deserves to communicate in multiple directions (360-degree feedback). With
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!

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.
Satya Ananthu
This is an amazing book, lot of good ways to make your relationships at work and home better. This will be good reference book when I need it.
Sanjeev Roy
As a practicing Executive Coach, cant think of a better book.
Great read for any senior corporate executive.
Another one of my books to get a black belt in - I've been through it about 6 times! Great one!
This book was given to me about 5 years ago when I was selected for a short-lived Leadership Development Program at work (short lived as in, we met twice and then it kind of fizzled and people forgot about it). It's been sitting on my shelf this whole time and I finally picked it up. I liked it a lot. Mr. Goldsmith speaks very frankly about the bad workplace habits people need to break in order to keep moving up in their careers. He lists 20 main habits and acknowledges that most of us don't do ...more
What. I enjoyed most about this book is that it makes one think about adapting in order to succeed at new levels. Goldsmith draws from years and years of multiple success stories. The dominant theme is that people who have succeeded have strong traits that can impede their further progress. Fixing these by listening to feedback and taking conscious action opens the way to further success. I would have liked more content about the skills a leader needs to add as their scope increases, but this is ...more
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Outside Counsel: Personal tics 1 4 Sep 17, 2012 03:21PM  
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“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.” 1 likes
“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
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