Next Generation Leader summary and notes

Next Generation Leader (Five Essentials for Those Who Will Shape Our Future); author Andy Stanley.

Andy is by far one of my favorite pastors and speakers. He is the founder of North Point Ministries and each Sunday more than 33,000 people attend worship services at North Points five locations in Atlanta, GA.

You can click the link below to access the book on Amazon or click on and go to favorites and you can check out my favorite books and by clicking on the book it will also take you to the amazon so you can purchase the books I recommend.

Andy wrote this book to provide  a playbook for the up and coming next generation of leaders.  The layout of this book is in an easy to read format and laid out extremely well in five areas.  I will once again provide you with a quasi book summary and review.  My book summaries include my highlighted notes as well as a semi outline of the content in the book.

Andy began this book with these questions:

  • What are the leadership principles I wish someone had shared with me when I was a young leader?
  • What do I know now that I wish I had known then?
  • Of all that could be said about leadership, what must be conveyed to next generation leaders?

Here are the five areas that Andy outlined based on these questions.

1. Competence:

Leaders must channel their energy toward those arenas of leadership in which they are most likely to excel.

Two best kept secrets of leadership are:

  • The less you do the more you can accomplish.
  • The less you do, the more you enable others to accomplish.
  • The secret of concentration is elimination.
  • The moment a leader steps away from his core competencies, his effectiveness as a leader diminishes.
  • Leaders attract other leaders whose skills come close to matching but rarely surpass their own.
  • When we exert our authority in an area where we lack competence, we can derail projects and demotivate those who have the skills we lack.
  • The inability for a leader to own up to personal shortcomings is often rooted in some sort of insecurity.
  • And the truth is admitting a weakness is a sign of strength.
  • Leadership is about getting things done through other people.
  • If a there is no one to whom we can delegate, it is the leaders fault.
  • John Maxwell says this: You are most valuable as leader where you add the most value.
  • Leaders must narrow down their job to the one or two things that only they can do.
  • Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing.
  • Being busy isn’t being productive.
  • Andy paired his must do’s to three things:  Corporate vision casting, Corporate communication, and Leadership development.
  • It is better to launch people than it is to lose people.  Embrace people strengths on your team and help them develop those skills and maybe you will launch them in a new career.

2. Courage:

The leader of an enterprise isn’t always the smarts or most creative person on the team. He isn’t necessarily the first to identify a oppurtinty. The leader is the one who has the courage to initiate, to set things in motion, to move ahead.

  • Wherever there is fear there is opportunity, where there is great fear there is great opportunity.
  • The leader fears missing an opportunity.
  • Eventually a leaders lust for progress overwhelms his reluctance to take risks. 
  • Fear, not a lock of good ideas, is usually what keeps a man or woman standing on the sidelines.
  • A leaders regrets generally revolve around missed opportunities.
  • An unwillingness to accept risk has swamped more leaders.
  • Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage assumes fear.
  • If you don’t conquer your fear, you are going to miss out on some great things in life.
  • Leaders are not always the first to see an opportunity. They are simply the first to seize an opportunity.
  • A leader is someone who has the courage to say publicly what everybody is whispering privately.
  • Accepting the status quo is the equivalent to accepting a death sentence.
  • It is easier to accept things as they are than it is to change them.  Some people accept the status quo and live with it.
  • Progress requires change.
  • As a leader if we can’t move things forward then its time to move on.
  • Careful is cerebral; fearful is emotional
  • Careful is fueled by information, fearful is fueled by imagination
  • Careful calculates risk; fearful avoids risk
  • Careful wants to achieve success; fearful wants to avoid failure 
  • Careful is concerned about progress; fearful is concerned about protection. 
  • The courage to dream always precedes the capital needed to finance the dream.
  • The only way to figure out how something can get done is to refuse to take your eye off what needs to be done.

Seven Commandments of Reality: 

  1. Thou shalt not pretend
  2. Thou shalt not turn a blind eye.
  3. Thou shalt not exaggerate.
  4. Thou shalt not shoot the bearer of bad news.
  5. Thou shalt not hide behind the numbers
  6. Thou shalt not ignore constructive criticism.
  7. Thou shalt not isolate thyself.

3. Clarity:

Uncertain times require clear directives from this in leadership. Yet the temptation for young leaders is to allow uncertainty to leave you paralyzed. A next generation leader must learn to be clear even when he is not certain.

  • Uncertainty is not an indication of poor leadership; it underscores the need for leadership.
  • Uncertainty creates the necessary condition for leadership.
  • You can’t hold people accountable for things that aren’t clear. If you’re unwilling to make decisions with limited information, you can’t achieve clarity.
  • As leaders we can afford to be uncertain, but we cannot afford to be unclear.
  • You can survive being wrong, but you can’t survive being unclear.
  • I will not follow a leader who pretends to know and does nothing to quell their ignorance.
  • The goal is to win, not run special plays.

4. Coaching: You may be good. You may even be better than everyone else. But without a coach you will never be as good as you could be.

Coaching truths:

  1. I can go farther and faster with someone coaching me than I can on my own. 
  2. An effective coach does not need to possess more skills than the person he is coaching.
  • A coach helps us assess the present so that we operate more effectively in the future.
  • Coaching does not center on problem solving, instead it focuses on performance enhancement.
  • A coach is going to be proactive in their instruction and evaluation. A coach is often on the scene watching rather than in an office waiting for a report.
  • If you are not teachable your are not coachable.

Solomon’s thoughts on seeking counsel: 

  1. Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. (Proverbs 1:5, NIV)
  2. The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listen to advice. (proverbs 12:15, NIV)
  3. Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. (proverbs 15:22, NIV)
  4. Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. (proverbs 19:20, NIV)
  • An effective leadership coach does these three things:
  • 1. Observes.  2. Instructs.  3.  Inspires. 
  • Evaluated experience is what enables you to improve your performance.
  • Learn everything you can from everybody you can.
  • As a leader you are not responsible for knowing everything there is to know about leadership. But you are responsible for sharing what you do know with the leaders around you.

5. Character: You can lead without character, but you wont be a leader worth following. Character provides next germination leaders with the moral authority necessary to bring together the people and resources to further an enterprise.

  • Character is to do what is right even when its hard.
  • Character is will because it requires a willingness to make tough decisions, decisions that sometimes run contrary to emotion, intuition, economics, current trends, and in the eyes of some, common sense.
  • Taking the time to develop maturity requires initiative and discipline.
  • The become a leader worth following you must be intentional about developing the inner man.

Andy’s personal definition of success narrowed down to nine words. What are yours?

  1. available
  2. accountable
  3. dependable
  4. generous
  5. honest
  6. loyal
  7. pure
  8. sensitive
  9. transparent

These nine words form a perimeter around him.

  • Talent and determination determine your potential, character determines your legacy.

My advice to you whether you are a leader now, want to be a leader, a parent, or anyone else, you should read the book.  Yes.  Everyone should read this book.  Sure it is titled as a leadership book, but we are all leaders in our own life, so why not learn some new things so we can be more effective in leading ourself, which at times, is the hardest part of leadership.

To your success and your future.


What your dirty house says about you

You lack discipline.  You can’t have part-time discipline.  Discipline is something you must have in all areas of your life all of the time.

Here is what I have learned about discipline:

1st: Disciplines initiate new disciplines:  When I made a decision to focus more on my health and exercise it immediately impacted my sleeping habits.  I knew that my sleeping habits would impact my energy level which in turn would impact my exercise plan.  I knew that I had to ensure that I went to bed early and I had to get up early.  Knowing that sleeping correctly would impact my health and exercise, I also had to decide who I would spend my time with.  I can’t spend time with people who think that staying out late or wasting time doing nothing is good.  I have to decide who I associate with.  All of these changes in my life that have now become disciplines all started because of one discipline that I made a commitment to which was my health.

2nd: You can’t do it sometimes: If I hurt someones feelings, I apologize.  If you allow dishes to pile up in the sink, trash to overflow out of your garbage before you take it out, leave your clothes lying around instead of putting them in their place.  You have yesterdays lunch on your floor board in your car, or last weeks snack wrapper on your seat, or your back seat has become another place to store clothing.  If it is not you doing these things, maybe you allow your children to make these things this way.  It means you are lacking discipline. If you are lacking discipline in these areas, the chances are you are lacking discipline in the other major areas of life.  Such as your finances, your work, and possibly your health.  Little things lead the big things.  Don’t forget that, everything you do does matter.

A personal story for you:  A few years ago, I had been in a relationship that was very comfortable.  It was very comfortable for the both of us.  There wasn’t anything wrong with the relationship other than it wasn’t going anywhere and I knew it.  However it was comfortable and safe.  In my life as a leader, I preach excellence.  Excellence means you put everything in whatever you are doing all of the time.  I was not putting everything into this relationship all of the time. I am sure there are many reasons for this, but that isn’t the point here.  The point is I knew I couldn’t preach excellence and not pursue it in all areas of my life.  You can’t be excellent part-time.  And you can’t have discipline part-time.  Once you start to slack off in one area, it will lead to another area where you slack, the next thing you know you will be way off course.

3rd: It’s HARD: Having discipline 24/7 is hard.  If it was easy everyone would save their money, nobody would be in debt, there wouldn’t be any need for all of the diet products, there wouldn’t be any need for jails, you would never have to apologize to anyone because there wouldn’t be a need to,  everybody would finish school (all the way). It is hard to pay now so you can be rewarded in the future.  By the way: I am not saying I have it all figured out when it comes to discipline either.  My suggestion is to focus on the “big rocks” in your life.  The areas that are most important and focus your disciplines there.


What areas of life do you need to make a new or renew a commitment to and create a discipline to ensure you meet that commitment?

Please share with me your thoughts and your commitment!

To your success and your future.

Your excuses are old

What is on your should do list today?  Is it exercising for 30 minutes, reading a periodical that can help your career, calling the school to finish your degree that you just haven’t got around to yet, signing up for the training class, etc.?

All of the above are things that you don’t have to do, but you should do.  But most of us (including myself at times) don’t make the time for the things we should do.  Why don’t we make the time?  I am not sure.  If I had to guess, I would say that we don’t make the time, because they are not have to do’s, like a lot of what we have to do everyday is.  So you have to quit it with the excuses, its go time.

Make your should do’s, a MUST do:  I am not sure how this can work for you, but I will tell you how it works for me.  Exercising for me use to be a should do, but it became a have to and must do (that I enjoy, most of the time) when I saw my mother in the hospital having a heart attack.  I talk about this experience in my book 7 Ways to More.  Go to this link and purchase the book, if you want to read the entire story.     The reason it became a must do is because without health nothing else really matters.  And after seeing my mother and seeing what is in my genes, I said this has to be a priority.  This was the sign I needed to change my thinking from should to must.  So what signs do you have in your life right now that are flashing in front of you saying I must turn these should do’s into must do’s?

Do it early: Early to me isn’t a time necessarily.  It is when you are at your best and if you are like most people you are your best when you are well rested and focused.  For me this happens to be early in the morning.  The reason that is because after a long day of work I don’t have the willpower to do the things I should do.  Almost four years ago, I changed my should do’s to the morning. This is when I am the best and focused and it changed my life forever.  So when are you at your best? I know many people tell me that they are their best late at night or after they get off of work.  Maybe you are.  I say do it early, because that is what works for me, however, the key is to ensure you have it scheduled and planned.

What should do’s on your list are you going to make must do’s? We all have many excuses each and everyday why we didn’t get anything on our should do’s list accomplished. But those excuses aren’t getting you closer to better health, more educated, or a better life. Change your should do’s to must do’s and see how things change for you.

To your success and your future.

Goal Setting made easy

Everyone I speak to tells me they are a big goal setter.  Then I ask them to share their goals with me and they can’t.  Here is what they say: It is in my head, I don’t have to write them down, I know what I want to accomplish.  I get it, but my advice is to write it down. There is something magical that happens when you write them down (or type them out).

Instead of a traditional goal setting plan, I wanted to keep it easy for you today.  Write down the following questions and answer them to the best of your ability, think big though.  This is a good start to setting some goals that will get your excited about your future.

  • What do I want to do?
  • What do I want to be?
  • What do I want to see?
  • What do I want to have?
  • Where do I want to visit?
  • Who and how much can I give?

Your answers to these questions can provide you the motivation to work towards something that moves you closer to the life you want to live.

If you are interested in learning how to set goals and being more intentional about your life and your ambitions, contact me and lets see if my goal setting plan can help you get where you want to go.

To your success and your future.



Good Leaders ask Great Questions; book summary

John C . Maxwell is by far one of my favorite authors and speakers.  In his book Good Leaders ask Great Questions he outlines what good questions are.  He outlines a playbook for leaders as well as anyone else who wants to influence other people.  These questions transfer across all walks of life.  The book link is below.

In this book summary I will follow the table of contents and how it is laid out and give some of my key insights/notes that I took from each of the chapters.  In this book there are  2 parts.  Then there are the 10 main questions as outlined below numerically.  The bullet points within each of the chapters and main questions are designed around the key concepts within the chapter.

PART 1:  Questions I ask

1.  Why are questions so important?

  • Richard Thalheimer, the founder of Sharper Image, once asserted, “It is better to look uninformed than to be uninformed.”
  • Questions unlock and open doors that otherwise remain closed.
  • Questions are the most effective means of connecting people
  • My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions–Peter Drucker.
  • The most effective way to connect with others is by asking questions.
  • Questions connect people.
  • All fear stems from either “I am not enough” or “I don’t have enough.”
  • Questions allow us to build better ideas.
  • Questions give us a different perspective.

2.  What questions do I ask myself as a leader?

  • Am I investing in myself?
  • Am I genuinely interested on others?
  • Am I grounded as a leader?
  • As a leader your goal is to lift people up.

When I found my why, I found my way;

When I found my why, I found my will;

When I found my why, I found my wings. 

  • Am I adding value to my team.
  • If you are giving 50% today, you can’t give 150% tomorrow. You can never give more than 100%.
  • CS Lewis: God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons we could not learn in any other way.
  • Samuel Johnson: Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities he does not possess.
  • Focus on your strength zone.
  • Am I investing my time with the right people?
  • The unexamined leader is not worth following.

3.  What questions do I ask my team members?

  • How good of a listener are you?
  • Mary Kay Ash asserted: If you listen long enough the person will generally come up with an adequate solution.
  • What do you think?
  • Decisions should always be made as close to the problem as possible.
  • How can I serve you?
  • What do I need to communicate?
  • Did we exceed expectations?
  • What did you learn?
  • Did we add value?
  • How do we maximize this experience?
  • What do I need to know?
  • How are the numbers?

Part 2:  Questions leaders ask me

4.  What must I do to lead myself successfully?

  • Identify your blindspots
  • Don’t let ego, pride, or insecurity get in your way.
  • Succesful people do what unsuccessful people do occasionally.
  • True Leaders serve people. Serves their best interests, and in doing so will not always be popular.
  • Warren Bennis observed: It is the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguishes leaders from followers. 
  • You do not have to pay the price to grow and expand intellectually.  The mind nether requires it or demands it.

5.  How does leadership work?

  • Leadership is influence, the ability of one person to influence others to follow his or her lead.
  • Leadership is developed not discovered.
  • What is your plan for leadership growth? The odds are against you if you don’t have a plan.
  • You’re not made in a crisis, you’re revealed.  When you squeeze an orange, you get orange juice. When you squeeze a lemon, you get lemon juice. When a human being gets squeezed you get what is inside, positive or negative.
  • The first and last task of a leader is to keep hope alive, the hope that we can finally find our way through to a better world.

Growth by age:

  • Twenties–Alignment: We build our foundation and prepare for future success. 
  • Thirties–Adjustment: We try different things and find out what does and doesn’t work. 
  • Forties–Advancement: We focus in our strength zone and make the most out of what works. 
  • Fifties–Assessment: We reevaluate our priorities and hopefully shift from success to significance.
  • Sixties–Ascendance: We reach the top of our game and the height of our influence. 

6.  How do I get started in leadership?

  • Pay attention to the need you see.
  • Leadership begins with a need, not when someone wants to fill an empty leadership position.
  • Specialize until you’re special.

7.  How do I resolve conflict and lead challenging people?

  • Two questions: Can they change?  This deals with ability.   Will they change? This deals with attitude.
  • The bookends of success are starting and finishing.

Questions you should ask yourself as a leader dealing with challenging people.  

  • How much of my energy will I let them take?
  • How much of my time will I let them take?
  • How much of my focus will I let them take?
  • How much of my joy will I let them take?
  • How much of my resources will I let them take?
  • no job has a future. Only people have a future. If people keep growing, learning, and expanding their potential, their future is bright. If not, its uncertain at best.
  • Most people do not push themselves to their full capacity to reach their potential. Gerald Brook says it this way: If life is like an elevator ride, most people will get off one floor lower than they have to.

8.  How can I succeed working under poor leadership?

  • Consider whether or not you might actually be the problem?
  • Determine whether or not you have specific evidence to support your opinion?
  • Ask to speak with your leader privately.
  • Determine whether or not you should stay or move on?
  • A person with a clear purpose will make progress on even the toughest road.  A person with no purpose will make no progress on even the smoothest road.

9.  How can I successfully navigate leadership?

  • Don’t leave something, go to something.
  • Weigh the risks and rewards.
  • All change does not represent progress, but without change there can be no progress.
  • Bill Gates said this:  In three years every product my company makes will be obsolete. The only question is whether we will make it obsolete or someone else will. 
  • Most entrepreneurial leaders don’t struggle to find opportunities. They struggle to focus on the best opportunities.
  • Succession plans do not develop anyone, only development experiences develop people.

10.  How can I develop leaders?

  • Look for potential leaders.
  • Leaders are catalysts.
  • Leaders are influencers.
  • Leaders are relationship builders.
  • Leaders are value adders.
  • Leaders are gatherers.
  • Leaders by definition are out in front.
  • Leaders are finishers.

How to identify your TOP 20 Percent

  • Passion:  Are they excited.
  • Teachability: Are the growing now and are they open to growing more.
  • Capacity: What is their potential? Is there plenty of room for growth.

The desire to stay ahead of my best people drives me to keep growing and learning. 

There is only one way to lead leaders. Become a better leader yourself. Good leaders do not follow poor ones. People naturally follow leaders stronger than themselves. 

This book was a great read and is in an easy format.  I suggest reading this book if you seek to have influence.

To your success and your future.


6 ways sharing is caring

Several years ago my mentor shared this little saying with me. Life is worthwhile if you share.   It is really what ultimately launched this me into writing this blog.

Ways you can share.  (In order of importance)  Please share with me if you would re-order them in importance.

Share your time:  I think the most significant resource you can share with another person is your time.  It is a limited resource that we all desire to have more of.  It is more valuable than money, because you can get more money, but none of us can get more time.  The time we have is all the time we have.

Share your money: I would put money as the second most valuable resource that you can share.  Just like time it is easy to count.  You know exactly how much of your own resources you are sharing when you share your money.  But sharing your money with another person, an organization, or someone in need shows yourself how much you really care.  If you care enough, it is easy to share.

Share your love: How much can you love someone? As much as you want, right?  How do you measure it?  There are many measurements, and if you look at the above two ways, you could use those as measurements of your love.  I understand that love is bigger than both time and money, but if you aren’t willing to invest either into a relationship with someone or something than how much do you really love it?

Share your experience:  The best way we can learn is through our own experiences.  There isn’t any better way to learn than to learn it on our own.  However, there are some lessons that we really don’t want to learn on our own.  For example:  You can read books, listen to speeches, and other resources from people who lived a certain lifestyle and that lifestyle ultimately harmed their health.  Those people create those resources to share with others so you can learn from their experiences.  I appreciate those people for sharing their experiences because there are some lessons that I don’t want to learn by doing it myself.

Share your expertise:  We all have a certain skill set that really serves.  You may serve your company with your expertise (You get paid for it, I understand, but you choose to share it), you may serve a board, you may serve an organization, a church, a community, etc.  There are lots of ways you can share your expertise.  Again, this is another way for you to share and this makes life worthwhile.

Share your things: As a kid I never wanted to share my bike.  I was scared someone would wreck it or not take care of it the way I did.  So I was selfish.  However, the older I get, the more willing I am to share my things. If you can share something of value with someone else that needs it, why not share it.

Some of the things above I can give or get for free, and some of the things I have to pay for, or if I am open to sharing, someone else may have to pay for them.  It doesn’t matter.  The important thing is to be willing to share, this shows you care.  My mentor cared enough to put his thoughts, experience, and expertise in a book or on a CD, that I had to pay for.  I am so thankful that he did, because the lessons I have learned have paid me back 1000 fold.

How can you share today?

To your success and your future.

Lucky Number 200!

This is my 200th blog post.  I started writing in January of 2014.  Since then I have compiled over 200 blog posts and a book was born from those posts.  Below are links to amazon and kindle where you can purchase my book.

I will keep my 200th blog post short and sweet by paying tribute to a few of the quotes that changed my thinking and started me on this journey!

Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better–Jim Rohn

For things to change I must change–Jim Rohn

Your income very rarely exceeds your personal development–Jim Rohn

Lastly, a word from me.  Why not you?  That is the question that my mentor asked me several years ago.  So that is the question I leave you here with today?  Why not you?  You have the ability to be what ever you want and have all the things you ever wanted.  So why not you and why not today?

To your success and your future.


Can Talent be Predicted?

This morning I did something that I don’t do frequently enough. I keep saying I will do it, but I don’t.  I am here by making the commitment to do it more.  I went back through my hand written journal and looked at some of the notes that I took.

Last year I read The Two Second Advantage. Here is the link to the book–Just/dp/0307887650/

A solid read that I picked up really cheap in an airport. I took a lot of notes from the book, but here are just a few that I challenge you to think about today.

Predictiveness is the essence of talent.  Practice is the key to developing this predictiveness.  The practice has to be deliberate practice or deliberate performance, systematically strengthening the mental chunks associated with the skill through repetition while also incrementally adding new information and experiences.  Deliberate practice or performance also hones muscle memory.

Scientists claim a typical individual has to practice for about 10,000 hours over a period of years to acquire the predictiveness that makes someone an expert in a field.  Most of the worlds truly talented people got that way through determined focus and intense practice over a long period of time.  Scientists have discovered that there are no shortcuts to programming the brain.

No one is stuck with the skills, abilities, or the brain they have.  It’s possible to reconstruct a brain to overcome a physical disability or go into a new direction with deliberate practice and an intense focus.

So can talent be predicted?  Absolutely it can. Michael Jordan practiced free throws, Tiger Woods practices putts, Barack Obama has practiced his speeches. Each of them practiced so much that it became predictable that they would deliver.  But it requires work to do so.  It all really comes down to this.  Are you willing to do the work to become an expert in your chosen field.  That is the question for all of us.  Are you working to become an expert or are you just working?  Are you seeking to develop a talent or are you just seeing what you have to do to get a job done.

I challenge each of you with this question today, because it is the same challenge that I have. Do I want to be an expert in the field I am in, or would I like to be an expert in another field. We all have to make that decision. Once we make that decision we can get to work on the 10,000 hours needed to become the expert.  Time is a wasting, let’s get started.

To your success and your future.

4 G’s to get out of a funk!

I have used the word “funk” before as I am sure you may have as well. Today, I decided to actually look the word up.  The definition states that it is a state of depression;  it could be a bad odor; a kind of music genre; and a person could be funky based on what they are wearing.

Today, I am writing about the definition described as a state of depression.  I don’t like to use the word depression, because depression to me has more serious tone to it.  That’s just me.  So I prefer to say a little down or in a funk.

I am not sure why I choose to write on this subject today.  Maybe it is because we all have a tendency to get in a funk.  What causes a funk?  I don’t know.  I believe all of us have a tendency to get in a funk from time to time.  It is called life.  It could be things didn’t happen the way we wanted them to.  We may have not accomplished the task we were hoping to complete in the amount of time we wanted to complete it in.  A friend or family member gets some bad news, or we may get some bad news personally.  Our jobs are not going well.  You may have a boss on your back.  Or you have more work than time to do the work.

I don’t know if any of the aforementioned things have ever caused you to be in a funk, but I am sure you could come up with a list if you had to.

So what do you do when you get into a funk, and how do you get out of it?

1.  Give:  Yep.  There is something about giving that makes me feel better.  It could be money, time, food, advice, value, wisdom, anything I have that others could benefit from.

2. Gratitude:  Make a list of the things you are thankful for.  It could be your health, your family, grace from God, things, whatever it is just take a moment and think about the things you are thankful for.  Make a list.

3. Goals: For me looking at some of the goals I have accomplished helps me realize that I have been here before, I will be here again, and I know I can get out of it.  Looking at past successes gives me the confidence that I can accomplish anything and I have accomplished a lot. Also, I start establishing some goals for the future which in turn gets me excited.

4. Get: More of a personal word here.  Get doing and Get going.  That is really the best way to get yourself out of a funk.  Do something.

It’s Monday. Its time to start the new week with a fresh start and a fresh perspective.  Make this week your best week of the year.

To your success and your future.

What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There; book summary and notes

What got you here, Wont get you there; author Marshall Goldsmith.  Discover the 20 workplace habits you need to break. The amazon link to the book is below.

In this book the author identifies the 20 habits managers need to break so they can have more influence in their organization and continue to grow in their organization and their career.  A lot of books teach people what to do, Mr. Goldsmith takes the approach of what leaders need to stop doing.

Although this book was written for managers and leaders, I believe that the 20 principles can also be applied in your daily life as a friend, a colleague, a relative, a parent.  These habits can be displayed in all of our interactions with others, and they can diminish our influence with this individuals we wish to have influence with.

Like all of my book summaries, they are quasi book summaries where I provide you with a solid overview of the book, in addition to my key takeaways from the book. I hope you enjoy the read.

  • The higher up you go in an organization the issues that arise for people are always behavioral.  Everyone in leadership positions are usually equally as talented technically. They’re all smart.  This is why behavioral issues become so important at the upper rungs of a corporate ladder.
  • All other things being equal, your people skills (or lack of them) become more pronounced the higher up you go.
  • As we advance in our careers, behavioral changes are often the only significant changes we can make.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

  • Apologizing is one of the most powerful and resonant gestures in the human arsenal, almost as powerful as a declaration of love.

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

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

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

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

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

7 Ways to Change these bad behaviors:


Feedback tells us what to change, not how to do it.  But when you know what to change, you’re ready to start changing yourself and how people perceive you.


Apologizing is the magic move.  It shows others that you were wrong and you aren’t afraid to admit you were wrong.  It opens up trust in a relationship.  The best way to apologize is to do it quick and move on.

Telling the world, or Advertising:  

It’s not enough to tell everyone that you want to get better, you have to declare exactly what area you plan to change.  In other words, now that you’ve said you’re sorry.  What are you going to do about it.

It’s a lot harder to change someones perception of your behavior than it is to change your behavior.  I calculate that you have to get 100% better in order to get 10% credit for it from your coworkers.

You must constantly tell the world and your coworkers how you are getting better through your actions, your commitments, and the way you act.  It takes a while for it to sink in, but if you do it consistently it eventually will.  Think about the process of electing someone to office.  It tasks years for a message to really resonate and then people vote.  That is exactly what you have to do.


80 percent of our success in learning from other people is based on how well we listen. In other words, success or failure is determined before we do anything.

Good listeners do these three things: They think before they speak; they listen with respect; and they’re always gauging their response by asking themselves, “Is it worth it?”

Don’t say I knew it.  Don’t use words no, but, or however.  Eliminate any striving to impress the other person how smart or funny you are.


Thanking works because it expresses one of our most basic emotions: gratitude.  It’s a genuine emotion. If you can earn a A+ in gratitude, nothing bad will ever come of it.

Follow up

Once you master the subtle arts of apologizing, advertising, listening, and thanking, you must follow-up–relentlessly.  Continue to ask people for feedback and ask them how you are doing on some of the changes you have made.

Follow up is how you measure progress.  Follow up is how we remind people how were making an effort to change, and that they are helping us. Follow up is how we erase our coworkers skepticism that we can change.

Follow up is how we acknowledge to ourselves and others that getting better is an ongoing process, not a temporary religious conversion.

More than anything follow-up makes us do it.

4 Lessons the author learned around feedback:

1.  Not everyone responds to executive development, at least not the way the organization desires or intends.

2.  There is an enormous disconnect between understanding and doing.

3.  People don’t get better without follow-up.  Ongoing and consistent follow-up.

4.  Becoming a better leader (or a better person) is a process, not an event. 

Feed Forward

You’ve identified the interpersonal habit that’s holding you back. You’ve apologized for it.  You’ve continued to advertise your intention to change. You’ve started listening more and thanking people more.  You are seeking feedback and follow-up on your process of getting better in the area.

You are now ready for feed forward:

Racecar drivers are  taught to look at the road, not the wall.  Thats what feed forward does. It allows you to start looking forward to new changes you want to make and developing a process around that so you can continue to get better.

A study on goal achievement:  Most research on goals and goal setting centers around diet and fitness for a few reasons: A) there’s a huge population of people interested in such goals. B) its easy to measure. C) with record numbers of Americans either obese or out of shape, there’s a huge (and compelling) history of failure in this area. There are five reasons people do not succeed with their diet and fitness goals. the mistakenly estimate:

  • Time: Its takes longer than they expected
  • Effort: It’s harder than they expected. It’s not worth all of the effort.
  • Distractions: They do not expect a “crisis” to emerge that will prevent them from staying with the program.
  • Rewards: After they see some improvement, they don’t get the response from others that they expected.  People don’t immediately love the new and improved person they’ve become.
  • Maintenance: Once they hit their goal, people for get how hard it is to stay in shape. Not expecting that they’ll have to stick with the program for life, they slowly backslide or give up completely.

So any kind of goal you set out to accomplish.  Health and fitness or changing a behavior, it will require lots of time, hard work, personal sacrifice, ongoing effort, and dedication to a process that is maintained over years.

  • Sometimes the desire for “perfect” can drive away “better.” 

Things you must stop: 

  • Stop trying to change people who don’t think they have a problem.
  • Stop trying to change people who are pursuing the wrong strategy for the organization.
  • Stop trying to change people who should not be in their job.
  • Stop trying to change people who think everyone else is the problem.

The Great Western disease lies in this phrase….I will be happy when…, As in I will be happy when I have this much money, or that promotion, or that family. Be happy where you are and make sure you are following your purpose.

As I stated at the beginning of this book summary.  This book is based on the author and his years of coaching executive level clients to be better in their positions. However, as I have stated before, the 20 habits, the 7 steps of change, the behaviors that prevent people from hitting their goals are applicable to all of us.  My advice to you is to take inventory and see where you are and create some goals of where you would like to be.  Be the best you, you can be.

To your success and your future.