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What Got You Here Won't Get You There

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What Got You Here Won't Get You There

How Successful People Become Even More Successful


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The behaviors people use to climb the ladder might be the very characteristics that make them slip and fall.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


You've worked hard, sacrificed and devoted yourself to your career. Now you are enjoying your success, feeling confident and, yes, even a bit smug. Don't get too comfortable. Leadership expert Marshall Goldsmith is here to remind you that the very traits that enabled you to become successful might lead to your downfall. Now that you are a leader, your behavioral quirks and weaknesses take on more weight and significance, and can do more harm than they could when you were an up-and-comer. Lucky for you, Goldsmith identifies the 20 most common shortcomings and provides a seven-step procedure for improving without a complete personal makeover. Usually, making a small adjustment or simply stopping the negative behavior is all it takes. Goldsmith is respected as a savvy, insightful executive coach. The clarity, humor and down-to-earth style of his book demonstrate why. getAbstract recommends it to those who want to improve their leadership skills and keep climbing up the corporate ladder.


When a Quirk Becomes a Problem

Why would people at the height of their success and productivity need behavior modification? Ironically, it's because often the very same behavior that made them so successful creates problems for them at the top. Unfortunately, many people have no clue how their behavior affects their bosses, co-workers, employees and clients. For example, one executive might be deeply committed to nurturing his or her team, yet others could see that behavior as playing favorites. An executive who might choose to mull over suggestions before making a decision gets stuck with the label "unresponsive." When such behavioral quirks become behavioral crises, the time has come to seek a cure. This simple process requires identifying the negative behavior, showing the damage it causes and demonstrating that a small adjustment can solve the problem.

The "Paradox of Success"

Successful people possess four key attitudes that helped them become successful. However, these attitudes also make it difficult for them to change. This is "the paradox of success." The four beliefs are: "I have succeeded," "I can succeed," "I will succeed" and "I choose to succeed...

About the Author

Leadership expert Dr. Marshall Goldsmith has worked with more than 80 corporations. He serves on the teaching staff of the executive education program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Literary agent Mark Reiter is a collaborator on 13 other books.

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    R. M. 7 years ago
    how do I get a summary of chapter 9?
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      7 years ago
      hello Rufus, it's my pleasure to reply to your comment. We apologize for any inconvenience, however, our summaries are of the entire book, and not by chapter. Therefore we are unable to provide you with a summary of Chapter 9
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    A. 1 decade ago
    A must read for any leader