A reading club with a view to the future

529 Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

“What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” explores the common behavioral challenges that successful individuals face when trying to reach the next level of success. The book highlights the importance of self-awareness, interpersonal skills, and the willingness to change certain behaviors in order to overcome these challenges and achieve personal and professional growth.



"What Got You Here Won't Get You There" emphasizes the idea that the behaviors and habits that lead to initial success may not be sufficient to sustain success at higher levels. The book identifies twenty common habits that hold individuals back from reaching their full potential, such as excessive ego, unwillingness to listen, and the need to win at all costs. Marshall Goldsmith provides practical strategies and techniques to help individuals recognize and overcome these behaviors, fostering personal and professional growth.


  1. Title: "What Got You Here Won't Get You There" 
  2. Authors: Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter 
  3. Publishing Year: 2007 
  4. Publisher: Hachette Books 
  5. Length in Hours: 9 hrs and 39 mins

5 main ideas

  1. Self-Awareness: The book highlights the importance of self-awareness in recognizing the behaviors that may be hindering personal and professional growth. It encourages individuals to honestly assess their own strengths and weaknesses and identify areas for improvement.
  2. Behavioral Challenges: The book identifies twenty common behavioral challenges that successful individuals face, such as the need to constantly prove oneself, the habit of making negative comments, and the tendency to withhold information. It explores the impact of these behaviors on relationships and offers strategies to overcome them.
  3. Feedback and Accountability: The book emphasizes the role of feedback and accountability in personal and professional growth. It encourages individuals to seek feedback from trusted sources, listen openly to constructive criticism, and take responsibility for their own actions and development.
  4. Interpersonal Skills: The book emphasizes the importance of effective interpersonal skills in building relationships and influencing others. It explores techniques for active listening, empathy, and effective communication, highlighting their impact on leadership and collaboration.
  5. Behavioral Change: The book provides practical strategies and techniques to help individuals change their behaviors and overcome the habits that are holding them back. It offers a step-by-step process for implementing behavioral change, including setting goals, creating action plans, and seeking support from others.

5 funny quotes

  1. "If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room. Surround yourself with people who challenge and inspire you."
  2. "Listening is not a sign of weakness; it's a sign of strength. And by the way, it also helps you avoid awkward conversations about how you never listen."
  3. "If you want to win, try winning at mini golf. Otherwise, focus on building meaningful relationships and achieving long-term success."
  4. "Ego is not your amigo. Let go of the need to always be right and watch your relationships flourish like a well-watered plant."
  5. "Sometimes the best thing you can say is nothing at all. Silence is golden, and it won't leave you with foot-in-mouth disease."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "The higher you go in an organization, the more your problems are behavioral."
  2. "Your assumptions about what works and what doesn't work are often just that - assumptions."
  3. "Change is not just about making new resolutions, but also about stopping old behaviors that are no longer serving you."
  4. "To get from where you are to where you want to be, you need to bridge the gap between your intentions and your impact."
  5. "True success is not just about reaching the top; it's about bringing others along with you."

5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing Confidence and Humility: The book explores the dilemma of maintaining confidence while also being humble enough to listen to others' perspectives and learn from them.
  2. Addressing Blind Spots: The book delves into the challenge of identifying and addressing blind spots in our own behaviors, especially when they may be affecting our relationships and success.
  3. Navigating Organizational Politics: The book discusses the dilemma of navigating organizational politics without compromising personal values and integrity.
  4. Balancing Ambition and Collaboration: The book explores the tension between individual ambition and the need for collaboration in achieving long-term success.
  5. Overcoming Resistance to Change: The book addresses the dilemma of overcoming resistance to change, both in ourselves and in others, to foster personal and organizational growth.

5 examples

  1. Case Study: Steve Jobs - The book discusses how Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, recognized the need to change his behavior and improve his interpersonal skills to lead the company successfully.
  2. Example: Microsoft - The book explores how Microsoft, under the leadership of Satya Nadella, underwent a cultural transformation that focused on empathy and collaboration, leading to increased innovation and growth.
  3. Case Study: General Electric - The book examines General Electric's efforts to develop leaders who possess strong interpersonal skills and can effectively navigate the complexities of a global organization.
  4. Example: Google - The book highlights Google's approach to fostering a culture of openness and continuous learning, encouraging employees to give and receive feedback to drive personal and professional growth.
  5. Case Study: Ford Motor Company - The book analyzes Ford's turnaround under the leadership of Alan Mulally, who prioritized transparency, teamwork, and a focus on solutions rather than blame.

Referenced books

  1. "The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization" by Peter M. Senge
  2. "Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't" by Simon Sinek
  3. "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini
  4. "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business" by Charles Duhigg
  5. "The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life" by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander

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"Sometimes the best thing you can say is nothing at all. Silence is golden, and it won't leave you with foot-in-mouth disease."

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