What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There Book Summary - What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There Book explained in key points
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What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There summary

Marshall Goldsmith

How Successful People Become Even More Successful!

4.2 (250 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

What Got You Here, Won't Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith is a leadership book that highlights common behavior patterns that hinder career progression. It offers actionable advice on how to develop the necessary skills and behaviors for continued success at higher levels of leadership.

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    What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There
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    Key idea 1 of 9

    Many of us become increasingly superstitious as we achieve greater levels of success.

    Even if you don’t literally knock on wood every time you speak well of your own good fortune, you might still be prone to superstitious thinking. And you’re not alone! Many of us engage in superstitious behavior – attaching too much value to bad practices we mistakenly associate with success.

    After all, when we behave in a particular way and then achieve the desired goal, we naturally think that we should behave the same way again. We believe that our success occurred because of our behavior. When, in fact, it’s quite possible that we succeeded in spite of our behavior.

    The author once observed this mindset firsthand. He was working with an executive that consistently delivered superb results, but had one major flaw—he was a terrible listener. But since his performance was otherwise unimpeachable, his colleagues simply accepted this trait and decided it was useless to express their opinions.

    Meanwhile, the executive became convinced that his bad listening skills were actually crucial to his success. They shielded him from bad ideas and protected his creativity.

    This kind of flawed logic isn’t easy to correct because successful people are often defensive when criticized. Just imagine how the executive would respond if you told him to be a better listener! Especially considering the fact that he thought his behavior was working entirely to his advantage.

    But in the future, that advantage might become a handicap. And that’s why mistakenly attributing success to bad behavior can be dangerous.

    Just think of our executive: As he climbs up the corporate ladder, his people skills will become more and more valuable. And how long will his colleagues suffer his blatant disregard for their input?

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    What is What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There about?

    Your people skills become increasingly important the further you climb up the ladder of success. What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There (2007) describes some of the bad habits that commonly hold back successful people and explains how to change them.

    What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There Review

    What Got You Here, Won't Get You There (2007) by Marshall Goldsmith is a book that provides valuable insights into the challenges professionals face when trying to advance in their careers. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • The book offers practical strategies for overcoming the common behaviors that hold us back from reaching our full potential.
    • Through real-life examples and case studies, it demonstrates the impact of these behaviors and the positive outcomes that can be achieved by making small changes.
    • Its engaging and relatable approach makes it not only informative but also enjoyable to read, ensuring that readers stay engaged from start to finish.

    Who should read What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There?

    • Managers wanting to become more successful
    • Anyone who wants to gain respect in the office and improve relationships with coworkers
    • Leaders and executives who are proud of their personality flaws

    About the Author

    Marshall Goldsmith is an executive coach with more than 30 years experience in measuring and analyzing behavior in organizations. Having worked with over 100 top executives, he was ranked as a top ten executive educator by the Wall Street Journal.

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    What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There FAQs 

    What is the main message of What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There?

    The main message of What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There is that the behaviors that lead to success at one level might not be effective at the next level.

    How long does it take to read What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There?

    The reading time for What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There varies depending on the reader. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There a good book? Is it worth reading?

    What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There is worth reading because it offers valuable insights and practical advice to help individuals navigate their career transitions.

    Who is the author of What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There?

    The author of What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There is Marshall Goldsmith.

    What to read after What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There?

    If you're wondering what to read next after What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Executive Presence by Sylvia Ann Hewlett
    • Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter
    • Winning by Jack Welch with Suzy Welch
    • Drive by Daniel Pink
    • The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
    • Willful Blindness by Margaret Heffernan
    • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick M. Lencioni
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • The Power of Focus by Jack Canfield
    • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman