Sunday, March 3, 2024

What Got You Here Won't Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith with Mark Reiter

Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars 
Pages: 256 pages
Published: December 2006

I was tasked with reading What Got You Here Won't Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith with Mark Reiter for a management course I am currently enrolled in for work. According to the book's synopsis, the author is a highly sought-after executive coach, and in this book he shares some of his consultative advice in helping managers climb the corporate ladder well. In chapter one, Goldsmith says, "My job is to make them (e.g., managers) see that the skills and habits that have taken them this far might not be the right skills to take them further." 

The book is mainly centered around these 21 habits that we can be guilty of when communicating with corporate teams and how to retrain your brain to avoid these pitfalls. The author then implores the reader to pick a few habits to work on improving. In the final chapters, he posits that you can use the following tactics to help change for the better: giving and receiving feedback, apologizing, telling the world (advertising), listening, thanking, following up, and practicing feedforward. If this seems like a lot, it's because it is. The author packs a ton of information into the book that is logical and common yet valuable. However, this is one of my criticisms of the book as well. I am not sure how you can recall all of these details and put them into practice after reading the book and also do your job. The book is a fairly insignificant investment, but I do think a reader wanting to put this advice in action would need also invest in some type of external support system or accountability partner to stay the continual improvement course. 

The other, larger issue I had with this book is it seemed targeted to men who are in the corporate arena; like Fortune 500-types. It was a stretch to apply some of these ideas to my blue-collar management job. Some of the examples he uses seem to be a little overdramatized, and I'm not sure anyone acting as he describes in the 2020s would last very long anywhere. Having said that, I think if you take the information at face value, apply what you can, and have an accountability partner to help you keep a pulse on if you're improving, the book could be helpful. 

Recommendation: This was required, not leisure, reading for me, and that's never really a ton of fun. I think today the book would be better written in an easily digestible series. I don't feel strongly one way or another on my recommendation of this book as there are literally hundreds of communication and management books in the marketplace that can help one grow and improve. So, my final note, if you have the attitude and aptitude to change ... you will! 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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