Friday, January 4, 2008

What Got You Here Won't Get You There

My wonderful wife shared some notes from the book she is currently reading. It was an encouragement to me and I trust it will be to you.

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
Marshall Goldsmith
Copyright 2007

Twenty of the most common faults that hold you back from the top (pgs 40 – 41):

1. Winning too much: The need to win at all costs in all situations—when it matters, when it doesn’t, and when it’s totally beside the point.

Examples of this behavior: argumentative, put others down, ignore others, play favorites.

2. Adding too much value: The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion.

Examples of this behavior: Improving the content of another’s idea by adding my two cents worth.

3. Passing judgment: The need to rate others and impose our standards on them.

Examples of this behavior: Grading people’s answers in a defensive way.

4. Making destructive comments: The needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty.

Examples of this behavior: Any untrue comment that will hurt the customer or our company.

5. Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However”: The overuse of these negative qualifiers which secretly say to everyone, “I’m right. You’re wrong.”

Examples of this behavior: Commonly used words (verbal/written) in order to gain power.

6. Telling the world how smart we are: The need to show people we’re smarter than they think we are.

Examples of this behavior: Nodding my head when others are talking suggests that I’ve heard this before.

7. Speaking when angry: Using emotional volatility as a management tool.

Examples of this behavior: Reserving a special place in my mind for those colleagues we brand as “easily combustible.”

8. Negativity or “Let me explain why that won’t work”: The need to share our negative thoughts even when we weren’t asked.

Examples of this behavior: Inserting myself into a situation as chief arbiter or senior critic.

9. Withholding information: The refusal to share information in order to maintain an advantage over others.

Examples of this behavior: Answering questions with a question. Leaving people out of the “information flow.” (Un-forwarded emails or meeting invites).

10. Failing to give proper recognition: The inability to praise and reward.

Examples of this behavior: Depriving people of deserved recognition for success/accomplishments.

11. Claiming credit that we don’t deserve: The most annoying way to overestimate our contribution to any success.

Examples of this behavior: Hogging recognition for ourselves.

12. Making excuses: The need to reposition our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.

Examples of this behavior: Saying I’m sorry by using a lame excuse.

13. Clinging to the past: The need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and people from our past; a subset of blaming everyone else.

Examples of this behavior: Using the past as a weapon against others. To highlight something positive about ourselves at the expense of someone else.

14. Playing favorites: Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly.

Examples of this behavior: “A dog never talks back!”

15. Refusing to express regret: The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we’re wrong, or recognizes how our actions affect others.

Examples of this behavior: Apologizing forces us to cede power or control.

16. Not listening: The most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues.

Examples of this behavior: Displaying extreme impatience, multitasking.

17. Failing to express gratitude: The most basic form of bad manners.

Examples of this behavior: Failing to say “thank you!”

18. Punishing the messenger: The misguided need to attack the innocent who are usually only trying to help us.

Examples of this behavior: A combination of #’s 4, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17

19. Passing the buck: The need to blame everyone but ourselves.

Examples of this behavior: “Saddling others with the shame of our failure.”

20. An excessive need to be “me”: Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they’re who we are.

Examples of this behavior: Always expressing our opinion, no matter how hurtful or noncontributory it may be.

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