Notes from “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”

Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter wrote a book “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful!” This book focus on 20 workplace bad habits and some key good habits. I enjoyed the reading enough to give a short speech on a few points in the book and won a best speaker ribbon for the day! 🙂 I am including some quotes that I noted from the book. To really understand the motivation and explanations on these statements, you should get the book and read it!

Page 19: “This ‘I have succeeded’ belief, positive as it is most times, only becomes an obstacle when behavioral change is needed.”
Page 21: “The challenge is to make them see that sometimes they are successful in spite of this behavior.”
Page 22: “I will Succeed” may leads to overcommitment
Page 24: “I have now made peace with the fact that I cannot make people change. I can only help them get better at what they choose to change.”
Page 26: “Superstition is merely the confusion of correlation and causality.”
Page 28: “Pick a quirky or unattractive behavior that you habitually do, something that you know is annoying to friends or family or coworkers. Now ask yourself: Do you continue to do it because you think it is somehow associated with the good things that have happened to you? Examine it more closely. Does this behavior help you achieve results?”
page 29: “You can’t force people to work together. You can’t mandate synergy.l You can’t manufacture harmony, whether it’s between two people or two divisions. You also can’t order people to change their thinking or behavior”
Page 29: “People will do something — including changing their behavior only if it can be demonstrated that doing so is in their own best interest as defined by their own values.”
Page 31: “If you press people to identify the motives behind their self-interest it usually boils down to four item: money, power, status, and popularity. … Having achieved these goals, they turn to higher-level goals, such as ‘leaving a legacy’ or ‘being an inspiring role model’ or ‘creating a great company.'”
Page 40: The Twenty Habits: 1. Winning Too much, 2. Adding too much value, 3. Passing judgment, 4. Making destructive comments, 5. Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However”, 6. Telling the world how smart we are, 7. Speaking when angry, 8. Negativity, 9. Withholding information, 10. Failing to give proper recognition, 11. Claiming credit that we don’t deserve, 12. Making excuses, 13. Clinging to the past, 14. Playing favorites, 15. Refusing to express regret, 16. Not listening, 17. Failing to express gratitude, 18. Punishing the messenger, 19. Passing the buck, 20. An excessive need to be “me”.
Page 44: “As we advance in our careers, behavioral changes are often the only significant changes we can make.”
Page 49: The fallacy of added value: “The problem is, you may improved the content of my idea by 5 percent, but you’ve reduced my commitment to executing it by 50 percent, because you’ve taken away my ownership of the idea. My idea is now your idea — and I walk out of your office less enthused about it than when I walked in.”
Page 56: “The fact that a destructive comment is true is irrelevant. The question is not, ‘Is it true?’ but rather, ‘Is it worth it?'”
Page 61: “Being smart turns people on. Announcing how smart you are turns them off.”
Page 94: “A leader who cannot shoulder the blame is not someone we will follow blindly into battle.”
Page 95: “In that sense, being wrong is an opportunity — an opportunity to show what kind of person and leader we are.”
Page 98: “If he could shed his ‘excessive need to be me,’ he wouldn’t see himself as aa phony. He could stop thinking about himself and start behaving in a way that benefited others.”
Page 99: “It comes from misunderstanding what we want in our lives. We think we’d be truly happy (or at least happier) if only we made more money… So, we pursue those goals relentlessly. What we don’t appreciate until much later is that in obsessing about money, we might be neglecting the loved ones — i.e., our family — for whom we are presumably securing that money…”
Page 100: “It also comes from misunderstanding what others want us to do. The boss says we have to show ten percent revenue growth for the year, so when it appears we will miss that target, goal obsession forces us to adopt questionable, less than honest methods of hitting the target… If you examine it more closely, we’re not really obsessed with hitting the ten percent growth; our true goal is pleasing our boss.”
Page 101: “As I say, this is why I’ve given goal obsession its own special corner. It’s not a flaw. It’s a creator of flaws.”
Page 114: “Forgiveness means letting go of the hope for a better past!”
Page 116: “…change is not a one-way street. It involves two parties: the person who’s changing and the people who notice it.”
Page 122: “In soliciting feedback for yourself, the only question that works — the only one! — must be phrased like this: ‘How can I do better?'”
Page 128-132: 5 self monitoring techniques: 1. Make a list of people’s casual remarks about you, 2. Turn the sound off (i.e. observe their actions), 3. Complete the sentence (i.e If I do this, I’ll get that benefit.), 4. Listen to your self-aggrandizing remarks, and 5. Look homeward.
Page 147-149: Think before you speak, Listen with respect, and ask youself, “Is It Worth It?”
Page 170: Practicing Feedforward
Page 175: “It’s the feeling that when we help another person, we help ourselves.”
Page 181: “If you study successful people, you’ll discover that their stories are not so much about overcoming enormous obstacles and handicaps but rather about avoiding high-risk, low-reward situations and doing everything in their power to increase the odds in their favor.”
Page 179-198: Changing: The Rules: 1. You Might Not Have a Disease That Behavioral Change Can Cure. 2. Pick the Right Thing to Change 3. Don’t Delude Yourself About What You Really Must Change 4. Don’t Hide from the Truth You Need to Hear 5. There is No Ideal Behavior 6. If you can Measure It, You Can Achieve It. 7. Monetize the Result, Create a Solution 8. The Best Time to Change Is Now
Page 222: “Many older people say they were so wrapped up in looking for what they didn’t have that they seldom appreciated what they did have.”

One thought on “Notes from “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”

  1. It’s a day at a time life. That’s the only way to live. Think about it yesterday is gone, tomorrow in not here . So, what do you have? Even if you have to take it a minute at a time, enjoy it, stop being so hard on yourself. When doors close, lets open the new one’s. Just remember your not alone, everyone has some kind of problem. Big or small, something is always going to be in our path. Im not telling you to walk around it, it will work it self out if we deal with it. We grow from the pain, and learn from our experience that we encounter on our journey.
    What are we focused on? And always thinking about. Nine times out of ten were thinking about our own problems. When we are in our own heads we are behind enemy lines. Should we take the cotton out of our ears, and put in our mouth? Or should we just reach out to help someone less fortunate, or just having a bad day. You don’t have to go very far to find those kind of people. The world has changed, we live in a fast pace, push botton society. Do yourself a favor don’t get sucked into it. Take a personal inventory once in a while. It’s ok to slow it down, maybe you have been missing alot of the little things in your life.
    I always like to end with a daily reading or quote. This one is from Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now: Happiness is a choice. You don’t have to wait for everything to be perfectly straightened out in your family or with your business, or for all your problems to be solved. You don’t have to forgo happiness until you lose weight, break an unhealthy habit, or accomplish all your goals. No, God wants you to be happy right where you are, right now.
    Good luck and God bless on your daily ventures.

    Jim McCarthy is 50 years old and lives in Harrisburg, Pa. He had a successful 32 year career in horse racing and he has now started an exciting new business. He looks forward to helping you do the same. 717-574-3321

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