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

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  14,156 Ratings  ·  430 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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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Aug 05, 2007 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 13, 2011 Eva rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Emma Sea
Actual advice in this book:

"Treat every day as if it were a press conference during which your colleagues are judging you, waiting to see you trip up." (p. 146)
Jun 06, 2008 Megan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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?
Aug 06, 2014 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pros: Solid content. What Goldsmith says makes sense. His "Twenty Habits That Hold You Back" are a great list of things everyone should stop doing. Similarly, his fixes - "How We Can Change for the Better" - are practical, worthwhile and beneficial.

Cons: Reliance on personal experience and anecdotes to the point of solipsism; a skewed view of human behavior that favors extrinsic motivators (power, money, status, popularity, legacy, rewards, etc) over intrinsic ones (purpose, autonomy, mastery);
Jaideep Khanduja

20 Great Lessons For Project Managers From Marshall Goldsmith

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith is a fantastic collection of 256 pages and is a bouquet of learning for Project Managers across the globe. The title itself says a lot. You cannot win each battle with the same strategy. Every battle has to be brainstormed so as to formulate a suitable strategy. Each project is a battle
Luke Starbuck
Jun 09, 2015 Luke Starbuck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-shelf
Excellent read for any leader. Critical insights about your own behavior and how it affects those who work with you.
Aditia Dwiperdana
May 02, 2016 Aditia Dwiperdana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book for those that are already 'successful' (by your own definition), so it may not be for everyone. Things that I learned:
- You will need help from others to become a better person. You are not a good judge for your self improvements.
- The ones that can validate your improvement is your peers or colleagues.
- Even the most successful people can still improve themselves by using feedback from other people.
Rod White
Aug 12, 2007 Rod White rated it liked it  ·  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
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!

Sebah Al-Ali
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
Jul 12, 2011 Crys rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 04, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dewayne Griffin
Apr 08, 2016 Dewayne Griffin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book full of nuggets that embody what it takes to be a continual successful leader as you "move up the ladder" or take on additional responsibilities within various roles of life. Marshall approaches writing this book in a fashion used by may executive coaches. The core of the book features 20 habits focused on interpersonal behaviors that impact our leadership behavior. The question to ask yourself as you read about these habits is not how do I avoid these habits, but managing them ...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
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
Nov 18, 2010 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Jul 25, 2016 Ashwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
I was introduced to this book through Marshall's videos on Youtube. Being one of the top leadership coaches in the world, Marshall's charisma and communication is fascinating.

This book is written for people who are smart and achieved success in their profession. Marshall identifies several factors that prevent them from moving further. And more importantly, he offers suggestions to overcome these factors. He also discusses various habits of great leadership.

The book starts well but you tend to
Jun 03, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jeff Mousty
Feb 07, 2016 Jeff Mousty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a good easy read. We always hear people don't leave their company they leave their boss and this book expands on 20 personality flaws that someone can exhibit to make people not enjoy working for them.

It also states as you rise in the organization it's not a question of your ability to deliver results, it's about those personality traits that hinder your ability at that point.

Finally I liked the emphasis on just saying thank you to those people who provide you with all types
May 26, 2015 Brook rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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".
Jun 17, 2009 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 28, 2012 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Eduardo Cruz
Great reflections

Great book on Self Improvement. Easy read. Profound ideas. I had this book on my bookshelf for years and finally got to reading it. Worthwhile.
Apr 07, 2016 Mmustaquim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a difficult read. I had to put this down for a few weeks and then finish it just in order to finish it.

The bottom-line is that some of the advice in this book is somewhat misguided and the rest is too basic common-sense to be worthy of a read.

The book doesn't build up any argument or lay out any model in a coherent fashion. It mostly reads as loosely connected anecdotes. In some places I got the distinct feeling that perhaps this is a guy sitting at a bar talking about how he solve
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“People will do something—including changing their behavior—only if it can be demonstrated that doing so is in their own best interests as defined by their own values.” 3 likes
“People who believe they can succeed see opportunities where others see threats.” 2 likes
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