What Got You Here, Won't Get You There

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Marshall Goldsmith wrote, "What got you here, won't get you there." It is written to help successful people get to the next level. But, before you can do that, you need to take inventory of why you may be considered successful and find the things that may be holding you back from progressing.

As a small business owner with a steady flow of income, it is important that while you consider yourself successful, those same ways may be what's holding you back from the next level.

The trouble with success

What got you here may not take you to the next level. Sometimes we have a success delusion where we assume what made us will be what it takes to succeed at the next level. This can hold us back. When things don't go as planned, we typically always try to review what went wrong to fix them. But have you ever looked at your success to identify what may still be holding you back?

20 habits that hold you back from the top

We usually think about what we need to do to succeed without thinking about what to stop doing. The habits that hold you back from the top:

  1. Winning too much (wanting to win at all costs)
  2. Adding too much value
  3. Passing judgment
  4. Making destructive comments
  5. Starting with "no, but, however"
  6. Telling the world how smart we are -
  7. Speaking when angry
  8. Negativity - let me tell you why that won't work
  9. Withholding information
  10. Failing to give proper recognition
  11. Claiming underserved credit
  12. Making excuses
  13. Clinging to the past
  14. Playing favorites
  15. Refusing to express regret
  16. Not listening
  17. Failing to express gratitude
  18. Punishing the messenger
  19. Passing the buck
  20. Excessive need to be "me" (justifying that is just how I am)

How we can change for the better

Feedback is a powerful tool for breaking any of the 20 habits above. Marshall describes the methodology for feedback as "feed-forward." This is accomplished in four steps:

  1. Pick one behavior or habit to work on
  2. Describe this behavior to one person
  3. Ask them to pick two ways you could improve this behavior
  4. Listen without judgment and say thank you

Navigating the process of change

  1. Accepting you have a problem
  2. Choose the right thing to work on
  3. Don't delude; the quick fix doesn't provide the lasting solution
  4. Don't hide from the truth that we need to hear
  5. There is no ideal behavior because we aren't perfect
  6. If you can't measure it, you can't achieve it
  7. Incentivize the behavior
  8. The best time to change is now

So What

I was incredibly intrigued by this book. When we don't succeed or have a terrible business quarter, we look for things to fix or change. But what about the quarters that are a success? We head into the next quarter thinking, "okay if I can just do that again," without realizing that may not be what is required to get to the next level.

As a small business owner, evaluation and openness to pivoting is crucial to continue to progress.

If you want to read this book for yourself, grab it from Amazon here.

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