What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Almost at the end of the book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There author Marshall Goldsmith writes, “If you want to change anything about yourself, the best time to start is now. Ask yourself, ‘What am I willing to change now?’ ”

His point is that we’re always putting off experiences or new habits waiting for a time that we think is better suited to our life. I read the book, at the recommendation of my business coach. I’m growing as a leader, but there is so much to learn.

This book is a tough read because it forces you to look at various habits (Goldsmith lists 20) that may hold you back. A few that

To be successful, you’ll need to break some workplace habits. (Photo courtesy of bschool.pepperdine.edu)

resonated with me – either because I have that habit or because I’ve experienced it – include:

  • The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion.
  • Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However,” which says to others, “I’m right; you’re wrong.”
  • Telling the world how smart we are.
  • Failing to express gratitude.

Once you have identified your bad habits, Goldsmith provides ways to change for the better, whether it’s through feedback, listening, thanking or following up. The listening section resonated with me. I’ve been working on that for a while. If someone comes into my office, I stop what I’m doing to hear what they have to say. I try not to offer a solution, but rather ask for their recommendation. During monthly meetings with team members, they drive the conversation. I listen and hear what team members have to say. They almost always touch on everything I would have asked about it, but because they drive the conversation I gain a better understanding of what’s most important to them and what might be causing concern for them.

One way to practice listening, Goldsmith says, is to count to 50 and not let other thoughts intrude. As he notes, “If you can’t listen to yourself as you count to 50, how will you ever be able to listen to another person?”

If you want to get to the next level and you aren’t afraid of being brutally honest about your habits, this book will help you. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s worth taking.