Wednesday, June 12, 2024

What got you here, won’t get you there – 21 wisdom pearls of Marshall Goldsmith

Right from our childhood we have been trained and rewarded for doing the right things. The “doing” is so deeply ingrained in our thoughts that we are auto programmed for the rest of our lives. We keep on doing the things that are deemed right by our social norms. This habit even spilled over to our close social and professional circles.

There is nothing wrong in doing right. The trouble starts when we are failed to stop the wrong behaviors and habits. Holding back on wrong behavior is as critical as clinging up to the right behavior.  

Surprisingly, Its some of our self professed habits, that have showered success on us, are most irritating and stumbling blocks in our career and relations.  We fail to recognize whether we are successful because of them or in spite of them. Lets try to brood over our habits and think if we can be a better person by throwing them away in trash. It takes conscious efforts. Certainly a herculean task.

Marshall Goldsmith has explained these 21 habits succinctly in his book “What got you here, won’t get you there”. These are some of the most inspiring wisdom pearls that I ever read. Simple and bang on target!!!

These are precise habits which you should stop doing immediately to become a better person and successful professional.

  1. Stop your uncanny habit of wining at all cost and in every situation: Winning only to satisfy your inflated ego is dangerous. See behind the misty window, winning every front quite often cost you your reputation, relations, growth and success.
  2. Curtail your desire to add too much value to every discussion and every point:  You might be adding undesired value by paying with other person’s motivation and originality. The higher up you go, the more your suggestions are taken as orders by your colleagues.
  3. Don’t pass judgments: You are no one to rate others. People hate somebody imposing his standards on them. Expressing harmless opinions is fine but passing vehemently the judgment must not be your forte.  
  4. Don’t ever pass needless, sarcastic and cutting remarks to prove you as sharp and witty: Don’t pass destructive comments on your colleagues even in informal setting. The scars of sarcasm never go and one day you may have to pay for that.
  5. Don’t start with “no,” “but,” and “however”: Try avoiding using these negative qualifiers in your communication. The use of these negative words screams to everyone that “I am perfectly right, you are wrong”.
  6. Don’t tell people how smart you are: People get irritated when you tell and exhibit that you are smarter that they think. Let your deeds do all the speaking.
  7. Avoid speaking and sending mails when angry: Anger solves no problems. Manage your anger.
  8. Get rid of negative thoughts and stay away from negative people: The situation become even worse for you when your  “Let me explain why that won’t work” suggestions are unwarranted for. Negativity attracts even more negativity. 
  9. Don’t withhold information to cling to pseudo power: If you may think that refusal to share information will put you at advantage over others, you are grossly wrong. Share information and knowledge. People appreciate your openness.
  10. Stop thinking twice on showering praise and reward people around you: Recognize the achievers. Praise at the right time is the strongest motivation you can ever give to your people.
  11. Don’t claim credit that you don’t deserve: This is akin to corporate crime; the most pestering habit to overestimate your contribution to success..
  12. Don’t make excuses for your behavior: Nobody has grown the corporate ladder or enjoyed successful relationships by making excuses. People are intelligent enough to see through your excuses. Be straightforward.
  13. Stop adhering to the past: Don’t blame events and people in the past for your current situation. Whatever you are today is due to your own decisions and destiny.
  14. Don’t play favorites: This ruins best of the teams. Your friends in your team may always not be the right person for the job. Chose on merit.
  15. Don’t fail to express regrets: Expressing regret is regaining control and power contrary to the accepted belief of most of the people. Do recognize how your actions are affecting others around you.
  16. Stop being non attentive to others: Not listening to others is the most passive-aggressive form of disrespect. Be attentive and listen to what others say. Offer respect to command respect.
  17. Don’t forget to express gratitude whenever you get chance to do so: Even the small gestures like “thank you”, “my pleasure”, “you are looking incredible today” are enough make people your partners in your success .
  18. Don’t punish the messenger: Recognize the difference between your friends and foes. Don’t vent your anger upon innocent who want to help you.
  19. Don’t pass the buck: Don’t blame others for your mistakes. Nobody wants to be blamed for other’s misdeeds.
  20. Don’t be excessively “me”: This the most difficult obsessive behavior which stands between we and our success. Excessive “Me” is fatal. Avoid it.
  21. Don’t be goal obsessed: Perusing goals “at any cost” is dangerous goal obsession.

These 21 wisdon pearls are concise lessons to happiness and peaceful living.

More articles

Hardeep is an entrepreneur, marketer, blogger, an ardent reader and avid writer. He expresses his unbiased views especially on the matters of Business, Tech & Life through this blog. He can be reached at


  1. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more right here frequently.
    I’m slightly certain I will learn a lot of new stuff proper
    right here! Best of luck for the next!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here