Gene Babon's Reviews > What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

What Got You Here Won't Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith
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's review
Aug 02, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: leadership
Recommended for: anyone who is in a managerial position in the workplace.
Read in September, 2008

This is my third candidate for best business book of 2008. (Launching a Leadership Revolution and Never Eat Alone are the others.) What Got You Here is a look at successful business professionals who reach a road block in their careers that prevents them from getting to the next level (Won't Get You There). The book provided a road map to identify the blockage and remove it from impeding your progress.

The book details the 20 habits that hold most people back from advancing in their careers. These are habits and not skills. The higher you go the more your problems are behavioral. Identifying and correcting interpersonal behavior issues more than likely will remove (or at least minimize) the career-threatening road block.

The message to executives is clear: Stop looking at yourself in the mirror and admiring yourself; let your colleagues hold the mirror and tell you what they see. The best vehicle available to accomplish this is confidential 360-degree feedback. This is feedback, not only from superiors, but especially from coworkers and subordinates.

Feedback only tells us what to change, not how to change it. The process of behavior change revolves around an extended period of time focusing on the following five actions:

- apologizing for the behavior
- advertising that you are in the process of changing the behavior
- listening (not talking) to others about how you are doing
- thanking others for the gift of feedback
- following up relentlessly until colleagues notice and believe a sustainable change has taken place.

Here is the only challenge I see in making the workplace more friendly and productive: without organizational commitment to implementing a confidential 360-degree feedback mechanism, nothing will change.

That said, business managers can take the initiative to identify their own behaviors that need improvement. One interesting self-examination device proposed is the drafting of a "How to Handle Me" memo that you can circulate to stimulate dialogue among the troops.

If you find yourself stuck at the workplace, it might not be others holding you back. Ask a trusted friend or colleague to hold up a mirror and listen to hear if What Got Your Here Won't Get You There.

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