I am in the middle of reading this book by Marshall Goldmith, who has been described as one of the five most respected executive coaches by Forbes.   Goldsmith has coached thousands of executives of Fortune 500 companies. The book was inspired by Peter Drucker who said “We spend a lot of time teaching leaders what to do.  We don’t spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop.  Half the leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do.  They need to learn what to stop”. 

Goldsmith recommends using 360-degree feedback to identify habits that you are unaware of that really annoy the people around you.  Once you are aware of these behaviours, Marshall suggests going through a process of apologising for the behaviour and letting others know publicly that you are trying to change. Also spend more time listening and expressing gratitude; and don’t forget the most important step following up with co-workers at least a year later to see if your behaviour has improved.   Goldsmith lists 21 behaviour flaws that impact upon individuals’ success:

1.     Winning too much

2.     Adding too much value

3.     Passing judgment

4.     Making destructive comments

5.     Starting with “no”, “but”, or however

6.     Telling the world how smart we are

7.     Speaking when angry

8.     Negativity, or let me explain why that won’t work

9.     Withholding information

10.Failing to give proper recognition

11.Claiming credit that we don’t deserve

12.Making excuses

13.Clinging to the past

14.Playing favourites

15.Refusing to express regret

16.Not listening

17.Failing to express gratitude

18.Punishing the messenger

19.Passing the buck

20.An excessive need to be “me”

21. Goal obsession

Most of these behaviours are driven by ego or from the need for more money, power, status or popularity.  Successful people are also used to achieving and winning which got them to where they are now, but these underlying behaviours will not help them where they want to go next, such as be better leaders.

Which ones are you guilty of?  Pick just one to focus on.  The good news is that you just have to stop doing the behaviour rather than trying to start a new behaviour which is much more difficult. 

Join the discussion on Facebook and let us know what you think and which behaviour you are going to focus on.



By Maree Ferguson

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