"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Thursday, August 5, 2010


In his wonderful book, “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful”, executive coach to the corporate elite, Marshall Goldsmith, provides excellent insights into twenty habits leaders need to stop doing.

In his research and working with executives, Goldsmith has discovered the 20 habits that hold you back from the top.

Here are the 20 habits we as leaders need to do less of:

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

2. Adding too much value: the overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion, idea or situation. Have you ever found yourself saying “That’s a great idea, but it would work better if you…”

3. Passing Judgment: the need to rate others and impose our standards on them and project our values on to others or the situation. Have you rated ideas by reinforcing with “that’s a great idea”, then the next person with a suggestion doesn’t get a “that’s great”. Whether intended or not, judgment has been passed.

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

5. Starting with No, But, 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 we’re 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 conscious or unconscious refusal to share information in order to maintain an advantage over others.

10. Failing to give proper recognition: the inability to praise and reward. Don’t wait, thank people right away!

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 behaviour as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it. “I’m impatient, I’m always putting things off..”

13. Clinging to the past: blaming our upbringing, or people or events in the past.

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. “I’m sorry” goes a long way!

16. Not listening: Yeah, yeah, I know that already, give me the summary! We are losing the fundamental need that each person wants to be seen, heard and understood. Are you truly listening?

17. Failing to express gratitude: How hard is it to say ‘thank you’ in a timely manner that is meaningful to the other person?

18. Punishing the messenger: This can be big or little responses we make throughout the day whenever we are inconvenienced or disappointed. It’s the momentary snort of disgust you exhale when you are told the boss is too busy to see you.

19. Passing the buck: blame everyone else, not yourself! A person who thinks he can do no wrong usually can’t admit that he’s wrong. Where are you when a project runs into trouble or an idea flops?

20. An excessive need to be “me”: exalting our faults as virtues simply because they’re who we are. Are you the type of person who is poor at returning phone calls or emails because you are so busy and overcommitted, or do you have a need to express your opinion, no matter how damaging it might be – just because you are exercising that right to be ‘me.’ “Hey, that’s me. Deal with it.”

By the way, did you recognize any of these habits for yourself?

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