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Marshall Goldsmith on Change

By Ray Sclafani | November 18, 2009

Marshall Goldsmith is one of our country's most highly-regarded thought leaders and executive educators. Forbes recently put him on their list of "the most influential management gurus." His 2007 book "What Got You Here Won't Get You There", a NY Times best-seller, reveals one of the themes that runs through his writings, i.e. the same beliefs that lead to our success can make it very difficult to change our own behavior.

In a recent post on the Harvard Business Review, entitled "Don't Give Up on Change" Mr. Goldsmith discusses how, and why, change takes longer than we think. This is a timely piece for those of us looking ahead to 2010 with a desire to break free from some of our old traps.

Marshall Goldsmith offers these insights:

  1. To have a real chance of success at change, one must take personal ownership and have the internal belief that "this will work if, and only if, I make it work."
  2. Habits that have taken years to develop won't go away in a week. Set realistic time expectations for change.
  3. In setting goals, it's important to accept that real change requires real work, i.e. there is a price for success.
  4. Plan for diversions, and crises, along the way...that will distract you from your goals.
  5. Once a goal-setter has put in the effort to achieve a goal...and achieved it...it doesn't get much easier. Meaningful change requires a lifetime of effort.

In the words of  the brilliant German philosopher and writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, "Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes."


Topics: Change

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