What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful (Anglais) Broché – 1 février 2013
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Marshall Goldsmith is an expert at helping global leaders overcome their sometimes unconscious annoying habits and attain a higher level of success. His one-on-one coaching comes with a six-figure price tag. But, in this book, you get Marshall's great advice without the hefty fee!
"Marshall Goldsmith is one of the most credible thought leaders in the new era of business."-The Economist
"For over a decade I have worked with Marshall in corporations and seen him teach. In my opinion, he is the best at what he does, bar none. He has that rare combination that makes a great teacher-thought leadership, classroom management, and presence."-Vijay Govindarajan, professor and director, Center for Global Leadership, Tuck School, Dartmouth University
"America's preeminent executive coach."-Fast Company
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At my advanced age, I have spent too much time working for myself. Sure, I recognize the importance of teams and team work. But I refer descending from my aerie, joining the team, completing the project and returning to the solace of personal contemplation Years ago, I found this works best for me.
Goldsmith, an executive coach, argues in his book What Got You Here Won't Get You There, that success delusion, holds most of us back. We, (read I):
1. Overestimate our (my) contribution to a project.
2. Take credit, partial or complete, for successes that belong to others.
3. Have an elevated opinion of our (my) professional skills and our (my) standing among our (my) peers.
4. Ignore the failures and time-consuming dead-ends we (I) create.
5. Exaggerate our (my) projects' impact on net profits by discounting the real and hidden costs built into them.
All of these flaws are borne out of success, yet here is where the book becomes interesting. Unlike others, Goldsmith does limit himself to teaching us (me) what to do. He goes the next step. He teaches us (me) what to stop. He does not address flaws of skill, intelligence or personality. No, he addresses challenges in interpersonal behavior, those egregious everyday annoyances that make your (my) workplace more noxious that it needs to be. They are the:
1. Need to win at all costs.
2. Desire to add our (my) two cents to every discussion.
3. Need to rate others and impose our standards on them.
4. Needless sarcasm and cutting remarks that we (I) think make us sound witty and wise.
5. Overuse of "No," "But" or "However."
6. Need to show people we (I) are (am) smarter than they think we (I) are (am.)
7. Use of emotional volatility as a management tool.
8. Need to share our (my) negative thoughts, even if not asked.
9. Refusal to share information in order to exert an advantage.
10. Inability to praise and reward.
11. Annoying way in which we overestimate our (my) contribution to any success.
12. Need to reposition our (my) annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.
13. Need to deflect blame from ourselves (myself) and onto events and people from our (my) past.
14. Failure to see that we (I) am treating someone unfairly.
15. Inability to take responsibility for our (my) actions.
16. Act of not listening.
17. Failure to express gratitude.
18. Need to attack the innocent, even though they are usually only trying to help us (me).
19. Need to blame anyone but ourselves (me).
20. Excessive need to be "me."
21. Goal obsession at the expense of a larger mission.
It is too late for me. I am too dysfunction. If there is still hope for you, this book is a witty, well-written start to addressing your unconscious, annoying habits that limit your ability to achieve a higher level of success.
The author addresses a particular audience: successful people who need to make a change to continue to be successful. It difficult to get people in that group to change, since they have reason to think they're pretty darn good anyway. Additionally, It is difficult to convince them that the very skills that got them where they are may be damaging their current success or preventing them from going further. So when he shows you exactly how to pull off such a miracle, you are going to be extremely impressed.
What is more impressive is the lavish detail Goldsmith provides to help you apply, on your own, the same process which he is paid $250,000 to undertake for each executive he coaches. He gives generously, tells all that you need, holds back nothing relevant. He richly illustrates his points with stories and examples that are so right-on-the-dime that you fully understand each point he makes. Yet, the writing is lean and tightly organized, packed into little over 200 pages.
Since you will want to read the book several times in study mode, the author's ability to be succinct is a very handy feature. And you will want to study the book carefully, because you will understand that this could be a real career-changer for you. In fact, it could be a real life-changer for you. The changes he describes are valuable in anyone's career or in their personal lives. They are all about interpersonal relations.
Goldsmith divides the book into four sections. In section one, he discusses why people resist change, what false beliefs obstruct change and how people have overcome those limiting beliefs. In section two, he lists, defines and describes the twenty most common harmful habits in interpersonal relations, with brief illustrations of how to handle them, specifically. In section three, he explains the change process. Exactly. I stand in awe of his eloquence. This is everything-you-ever-needed-to-learn about how to change. About how to make that change visible to others. About how to enlist others in the process of making the right change and making it last. In section four, he enumerates several important "rules" of change and shares various other analyses and insights that help complete your understanding of why and how to make effective, lasting change. This compendium of wisdom shows you how the author does what he does so well. You will be empowered to do the same for yourself.
You don't need to wait until you're wildly successful and need to break bad habits. Start from wherever you are in your progress through life and career and learn how to be powerfully successful in interpersonal relations by avoiding the bad habits or correcting any you may have.
Despite our relationship I have not reviewed any of his other books. Most are quite good but I am not sure that I would recommend any with the possible exception of Leader of the Future 1 & 2. (More disclosure - I have a small piece in the latter).
This book is different. Run and get it. I'll tell you why.
Marshall is lean as a rail, bald with a fringe of white hair and he cackles infectiously. If he was in a line up and you were picking persons that you thought would be spellbinding orators, you would pass on him. Yet, clad in his trademark green T-shirt and khaki trousers, he has repeatedly held my entire class in thrall. Many, many persons have told me that they got so much from his talk and thanked me for inviting him.
It is this voice, conversational and common-sensical, that comes through in this book. The same voice comes through in his magazine columns but not in his other books. And it is gold.
His insights are powerful. Here is an example: Have you ever had a subordinate come to you with a great idea? Your eyes light up and you exclaim "Brilliant!" You praise her effusively and suggest ways in which that idea could be made even better. In your mind you are being a supportive boss. Then you sit back and wait for her to follow through. But somehow she doesn't. The excitement and passion are simply not there. You chalk her down as "Lacks implementation effectiveness" and never even consider your own role in this failure. Some variation of this has happened to me many times and I never could figure out why.
What you have done is "added too much value". Your comment of "brilliant" is a judgment and your suggestions for improvement are actually a takeover of her idea. Maybe you improved her original idea by 10% but you reduced her commitment by 50% or more. She no longer feels pride of ownership and this is what is reflected in the lackluster follow on performance.
So what should you do instead? Read the book to find out!!
Here is another example: The entire corporate world is hung up on the notion of feedback. When is the last time you jumped up and down with excitement, singing and dancing, at the thought of receiving 'feedback' from your boss? (You should see Marshall enact this roleplay - he is a SCREAM!!) Feedback brings about anxiety, defensiveness and self-justification. Marshall has a better way - feedforward. In essence the focus is on what needs to be done now to achieve a goal you want to reach instead of what you did right or wrong in the past. Trust me, it works a whole lot better.
There are many, many such insights. I was - and perhaps still am - guilty of "winning too much". I'll bet that you are also. But I am now explicitly aware of it and know that I am better than I was.
The great thing about Marshall's work is that the principles are very easily extrapolable far beyond your worklife. Innumerable persons have become better parents, children and spouses by applying them.
Marshall aims to make you a better manager and a more effective executive. But in the process he also makes you a better human being. And that is why I applaud him so strongly.
To be fair, the book has useful ideas, such as its comprehensive list of "bad habits" that are more damaging at senior levels than at earlier stages of a career. He makes a convincing case that these career-damaging traits can't be changed by taking courses (or reading books?). He argues that change requires nudging by an experienced executive coach (and makes sure you know he is available ... if you have a six-figure budget).
No doubt, Goldsmith can enthrall a room full of worshipful students, as another review suggests, using his catchy one-liners and "trademark" outfits. He is a talented self-promoter. Still, we readers have a right to expect something more thoughtful and less opinionated if he wants to be treated as a truly top authority.
You might want to skim a borrowed copy before buying this. Better still, ask a friend who has read it to give you a brief summary, and maybe skip the book.
While that's intriguing in and of itself, Dr. Goldsmith also reveals what he usually finds in such detail that you'll see the shadow of yourself spread out across the pavement in front of you. He does this so well that I felt truly mortified to think of the times when I fell for the many bad habits (that stall career and company progress) that he so eloquently describes here.
What are these bad habits? I've paraphrased them below:
Letting winning get in the way of relationships you need
Dropping too many ideas on those who work for you
Being judgmental rather than helpful
Slamming people in public or behind their backs
Making comments that indicate you disagree with everyone that's just been said
Showing off how smart you think you are
Saying anything in anger
Keeping secret what others need to know
Not recognizing the contributions others make
Claiming undeserved credit
Refusing to take responsibility for bad results
Being focused on the past
Favoring those who agree with you
Ignoring what others are saying or shutting them up
Shooting the messenger who brings bad news
Blaming others for everything
Insisting on sticking with you bad habits after you're aware of them
Dr. Goldsmith also tells a lot of stories about how he struggles in some of these areas; I thought the best lessons came from those examples. It's clearly a lot easier to describe what needs to be done than to do it.
For those who are or want to be top executive coaches, here's a chance to learn a lot about how a master does it. He relies on lot of 360 degree interviews which are repeated to test for progress (or regression). Dr. Goldsmith also tries to open up bosses, peers, and subordinates so that they try to support the executive who is trying to change.
I was particularly impressed by Dr. Goldsmith's compensation plan: He only gets paid if an executive improves in the eyes of those who work with the executive.
Realize that his perspective is on those who have great technical and leadership skills . . . but who have interpersonal bad habits that are killing performance. Turn some of these negatives into neutrals or less negatives, and great results may follow.
In a sense, this book is a good companion to Know-How by Ram Charan who looks at those who have great interpersonal skills as leaders but don't have the technical ability to know what to do. If you pay attention to the lessons in both books, you'll probably do better.
Ultimately, I was, however, skeptical of Dr. Goldsmith's suggestions for how you might duplicate his process on your own. I suspect you'd be better off to give this book to someone who is a coach and ask them to help you by playing the Marshall Goldsmith role.
Fans of Buddhism will enjoy reading Dr. Goldsmith's many perspectives on executive life drawn from those sources.