What Got You Here Won't Get You There

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There - by Steven Pressfield #

Date Read: 2018-12-06 #

Notes #


  1. We think other people are confused. We are not the person that needs to change
  2. We go into denial
  3. We attack the other party

Beliefs that made us successful make us unwilling to change

  1. I have succeeded
  2. I can succeed
  3. I will succeed
  4. I choose to succeed

These make us thing we have everything we need to succeed, like a superstition

People change only when the incentives are right - it is in their best interests. You must believe the reason you need to change

20 of the worst interpersonal habits successful employees exhibit in the workplace: In general, need to win, need to be right and need to show off are deadly when it comes to interpersonal habits.

  1. Feeling the need to win too much

  2. Adding too much value to a conversation

  3. Passing judgment

  4. Making destructive comments

  5. Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However”

  6. Telling people how smart we are

  7. Speaking when angry

  8. Negativity, “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 favorites

  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 - making the wrong sacrifices at the expense of a larger mission.

Getting Feedback #

Request people giving the feedback to

  1. Let go of the past
  2. Tell the truth
  3. Be supportive and helpful
  4. Pick something to improve yourself - so everyone is focused on improving and not judging

Don’t express your opinion when you get feedback

How to get feedback on your own? #

Important because if people don’t believe you have changed for the better, you have not changed. Their opinions are the ones that matter. (Looking for behaviours unknown to us but known to others)

Solicited - How can I do better?

Unsolicited - listen, luck, awareness

Observational -

  1. Make a list of people’s casual remarks about you, compiling and focusing on the negatives
  2. Turn the sound off - sensitizing yourself to other’s body language, e.g., what they do when they see you, what happens in meetings.
  3. Complete the sentence - If I do something, I will get _. e.g. If I get in shape, I will be be healthier. Do it five times, listen to what really matters.
  4. Listen to what you always boast about. - It just might be the thing you are weakest at.
  5. Look at home for clues too. What you are poor at work, you are poor at at home too.

After identifying your worst one or two bad habits, use the following process to improve your effectiveness:

  1. apologize
  2. advertise your plan to change - if no one knows you changed, you have not changed.
  3. listen - before saying anything, ask “Is it worth it?”
  4. give thanks
  5. follow up monthly for 12-18 months - becoming better is a process
  6. practice feedforward, not feedback: ask for two ideas for future improvement, listen, say thank you, and repeat the process with several other people

What people say is important at work

  1. “I’m finding meaning and happiness now. The work is exciting and I love what I am doing”
  2. “I like the people. They are my friends. This feels like a team. It feels like a family I could make more money working with other people, but I don’t want to leave the people here.”
  3. “I can follow my dreams. This organization is giving me a chance to do what I really want to do in life.”

Alternatively, ask what would you feel if your company was wiped out tomorrow. How would you feel? Angry? Sad? Relieved?