New Book Review – What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There

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If you are going to review a book, the first thing you need to do is read the book, twice if possible, and if you like the book read it when you can over and over.

Anyway, Marshall Goldsmith is a master author and if you are in need of a good read, then just pick up any of his best sellers. What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There, is a book about highly successful people becoming more successful, and its written in a matter of fact way, based on his many years of coaching highly successful global leaders with factual issues which require his singular way of getting to the points of issue.

Start at the Back

A good starting point to look at the issues dealt with in this book is to turn to the index, and if you wanted to look at a specific point, just see if it’s in the index and go straight to that page.  The index is supported by the appendix, and this book has a list of 72  appendixed issues that actually arose from a series of questions which were aimed at 120 global leaders.  Nearly all of the answers to questions focus on the needs of the people and not the business and that’s because Marshall knows that the businesses throughout this book are not the issue.  It leans toward the issues being within the leaders themselves and their inability to see that the issues are internal to them personally and not external.

The book is filled with the many dealings through Marshall’s famous and infamous client’s (whom which I won’t mention), but are all oblivious to their own faults.  They don’t see why they are failing to get to the next step in their personal and business life is simply recognised by Marshall, who then gives direction with positive step by step methods in order to reach that next level.


Marshall goes through a list of habits that leaders fail, (in fact where we all fail), which stop them reaching the top in their market.  This part of the book is worth the price itself and you can easily identify with all of these points regardless of where you are on the ladder to success and at whatever level you currently work at.  You find yourself saying “yes, that’s me”, or “now I see”. The habits include factual instances of where Marshall has been in a situation or has been privileged to bear witness to that habit being displayed and comes up with practical ways to recognise and overcome that very habit.  The habits are not a miracle of science, they are very much every day errors.  At the end of training sessions or client meetings four requests or commitments which are:

  • Letting go of the past.
  • Telling the truth.
  • Being supportive and helpful – not cynical and negative.
  • Picking something to improve themselves, so everyone is focused on “improving rather than “judging”.

There are great sections on Feedback, Apologising, Advertising, Listening, Thanking, Following up and Feed-forwarding.  The book ends with a section entitled  “You Are Here Now”.  You are 95 years old and you are given a chance to do it all again, so what would you do differently?  What an idea.  What would you do differently from a professional and personal perspective?

You are here.

You can get there.

Let the journey begin.

What Got You Here Wont Get You There

Disclaimer: The above link will take you to Amazon, but there is no obligation for you to click on the link to view the book, other than so you know it exists.

I am an Amazon Associate and so clicking the link and subsequently buying this book from Amazon would give me a commission.


4 thoughts on “New Book Review – What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There

  1. Hi,
    Thank you for reviewing Marshal Goldsmiths book What got you here won’t get you there sounds like one of those motivational offerings that are well worth the read from what you convey. It is interesting in that it is about already successful people becoming more successful through a man who has coached global leaders no less and as you say it is not about their businesses which are already successful but what is stopping them as their habits, attitudes etc. from becoming more successful. What attracts me is that is not only the preserve of the already successful but all of us business people in general. Will note this author and the book. Thank you for your good review bringing awareness of it.


    1. Hi Rami. Thanks for your comments. Just making sure that I have replied to all comments made on this post. Marshall Goldsmith is hailed as one of the best writers, mentors and speakers around, his books are worth every penny. Of course you can only apply certain things to your business depending on its size but all the principles that are in the book I reviewed will apply as your business grows, which I hope yours does.

  2. Hi,

    I’ve heard a few people saying that you should start reading a book by starting at the back; I’ve always thought it was kind of cheating on a book. It’s true about reading the book twice though, the amount of information you absorb the first time is fairly primitive!


    1. Hi Sharon. Thanks for you comments. Yes, reading the book from the back is still done but for those who want to look for specific topics it can be prudent and time saving to look at the index. Dave

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