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

BookSummaryClub Blog What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There Summary


Is it possible for a typical, successful business executive to be performing below their capabilities?

According to Marshall Goldsmith, it is.

Within his book, “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There”, Goldsmith lays out the idea that bad habits will eventually hold you back.

Those habits may have helped you to where you are, but they will prevent you from going any further.

What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful
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What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Marshall Goldsmith (Author) – Marc Cashman (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 12/28/2006 (Publication Date) – Random House Audio (Publisher)

Within this summary, we’ll explore three main points, which include:

1)    Bad behaviour often lingers because many of us believe that our personalities are rigidly fixed

2)    Wanting to Win is what drives your success; just don’t let it override your common sense

3)    Inviting Critical feedback will help you change bad habits that are holding you back from even greater success

Lesson 1: Bad behaviour often lingers because many of us believe that our personalities are rigidly fixed

We often think we are hard-wired to the personality and traits we have, meaning they can never change.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Nobody is perfect, but this does not mean that we are entitled to a few flaws.

These flaws will prevent us from gaining promotions, while also harming the relationships we have with those we work with.

Recognizing what your own team needs is vital to both your and their success.

Rather than embracing your flaws and not changing them, make the effort to learn and grow; this is a key component to getting where you want to go.

Lesson 2: Wanting to Win is what drives your success; just don’t let it override your common sense

There is a difference between wanting to win and wanting to win at all costs.

For example, say you and a friend are attempting to choose a restaurant.  After a vigorous debate, you choose your friends restaurant.  Once you arrive though, you realize it was a bad choice.

Will you criticize the restaurant and your friend, or just attempt to enjoy the evening?

If you think you would criticize the restaurant, then you have a bad case of wanting to win at all costs.

There is nothing wrong with a desire to win, but you need to use your common sense and know which battles to

If you don’t, you will eventually become miserable, and make those around you feel the same, diminishing your role as a leader.

Lesson 3: Inviting Critical Feedback will help you change bad habits that are holding you back from even greater success

Most successful people are often in their roles because of the talent and hard work they put into their career.

Due to this, successful people don’t handle negative feedback well, as they have mostly positive traits.

In order to truly move forward and to work at even a higher level, it is important to self-evaluate yourself and be on the lookout for bad habits.

One suggestion is taking a notebook and writing down every remark that people make to you or about you over the course of a week.

When the week is complete, you then look it over and watch for the trends.  Are they mostly positive or negative, and are there any remarks which show up multiple times?

By doing this, you can study the actual feedback you receive and adjust your own habits.

This will allow you to become even more successful, as well as helping you get to where you want to go.

My Personal Takeaway

What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There was a really interesting read about how our habits affect our future by preventing us from getting to the next level. I really enjoyed the part about how we tend to believe that our personalities are fixed, while they are anything but that. By recognising that we are the masters of our own personality, we can change for the better, and ensure that our habits support positive development.

Did this summary excite you?

Book summaries are great, but I also really believe that you will not fully understand the book or the author without trying the real thing. Learn more about this subject by listening to the full book for free via Audible.

Put into Action

  1. You are the master of your personality – change it to the better rather than blaming its flaws.
  2. It’s good to have a winner instinct, but don’t let it ruin your judgment.
  3. Be critical towards yourself and your habits to understand if they support positive development.

Hey, I’m Erik… a Swedish university student, marketing professional, and life-long learner. Here at BookSummaryClub I summarize my favorite non-fiction books into easily digested posts. Hope you like what you’re reading!

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