[October 08, 2014] Reading books that make me think – really think – is truly the epitome of quality reading. Marshall Goldsmith writes that traits that made you successful won’t necessarily keep you there or advance you further. I enjoy this type of reasoning and it allows me to keep that reminder of potential failure in the back of my mind. For example, I was a successful U.S. Army Lieutenant, yet much of what made me good as a junior officer did not help me much as a Flag officer. Oh and by the way, I picked up this book several weeks ago at a yard sale in a neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Otherwise, I’d likely not have known about it.
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. Marshall Goldsmith with Mark Reiter, 2007.
The audience for this book is senior leaders. Whether you are the CEO of a large business, a military Flag officer, a university president, or a senior politician, this book is written for you. Foremost, the book is instructional and insightful and is about senior leaders who are already successful, recognize they have greater potential, and want to go further. Often we don’t recognize that our skills and strategies that made us successful can, in some circumstances, also hold us back from achieving even greater things. For example, Goldsmith deftly shows us the 20 most common harmful habits in interpersonal relationships and how to handle them … one small gem, he notes in his book that “winning too much can hold you back.” A common theme of Goldsmith is that we have to have enough courage to change and that we have to make change a part of our lives as leaders. Of course, we don’t have to be already successful to benefit from his book. It’s best to simply start wherever you are in your career and learn how to be more successful by avoiding bad habits and by adopting improved behavior. Highly recommended.
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