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CollegeQandA book review: What got you here won’t get you there

Review – What got you here won’t get you there

Book cover: What got you here won't get you there

This is a review of: What got you here won’t get you there by Marshall Goldsmith.  The book is about Goldsmith’s coaching approach to improving executives and improving their lives, leadership skills, and associated businesses in terms of interpersonal behaviours.

Goldsmith is a corporate coach, and in this book he lays out his basic approach to improving people in high level positions to help them improve on their success.   Over four sections of the book he describes how success can hinder us, what 20 habits will hold us from the very top, how we can change for the better, and a miscellaneous section.  The book is well written and includes plenty of examples of actual people in terms of his coaching experience.

Overall, the book is an interesting read with applicable ideas for all of us.  For example, two key ideas I took from the book are how success can make us think that our methods are correct, and the need to solicit real feedback from others to figure out how to get better (which is hard when people don’t tend to provide constructive criticism).  Goldsmith provides a implementable methodology for all of us to improve ourselves, but it won’t be an easy process.

Does this book relate to CollegeQandA?

The section that everyone might want to read is section 2, “The twenty habits that hold you back from the top”.  As I read this list, I was picking out the ones that I think I am guilty of, and thinking of others who would be characterized with some.  The problem with self-diagnosis, however, is that you might be blind to what others see in you, so you really do need to solicit others true feedback.

I would recommend this book to…

I think many people would find this book useful.  I was thinking back to my sports coaching days and believe that some sort of system of improvement laid out by this book could have been a benefit to improving our coaching ability.  Similarly, I think this book could have a direct impact on my current professional life.  Most of us have areas we may need to improve on, but the book does suggest that some of us are changeable and others are not.  Still, I think the book has value and includes a good understanding of professional career behaviors for success that would be good for a surprisingly large audience.

CollegeQandA asks: Why do I have a reading assignment for this book over summer for my university or college?

Mandatory Summer Reading

Ah yes, the summer reading book experience.  Summer is a time for internships, jobs, relaxation from class work, and maybe some time to holiday.  However, some institutions such as universities and even businesses (J.P. Morgan for example) expect us to do summer reading.  That’s particularly true for incoming first-year universities.

tree_read

Here’s a brief list of some schools and their 2015 summer books:

That’s a lot of books.  Why are we reading them?

First off, let me remind everyone that the internet is great for reading a variety of things, we can tailor it to our likes and dislikes (for the good or bad), and find exactly what we’re looking for.  Therefore, books are not needed 😉 .  Maybe, but books are in depth, organized, well edited, and thought out writing on a topic that tends to be…a much better treatises of ideas.  For example, take this post as an example.  I have thought about it, written it, edited it (once…maybe twice), and posted it.  All of that, and I don’t need anyone to back up anything that I write.  A book goes through a much deeper proofing process.

Summer reading books are meant to challenge us, and equally, bring us together at the start of the new academic year with a common ground of experience.  I read this book, and you read this book.  We can now start a conversation on a common topic regardless of where we came from and where we are going, and this has great potential for community building.   Furthermore, Continue reading CollegeQandA asks: Why do I have a reading assignment for this book over summer for my university or college?