20 bad habits successful CEOs should shake

20 bad habits successful CEOs should shake

These tips from top leadership thinker and NBJ Summit keynote, Marshall Goldsmith, can change the way you do business and get you closer to your goals.

Few executives in the business world (or any athlete for that matter) would be likely to consider "winning too much" a hinderance in his or her career. But acclaimed expert on management and leadership, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, explains that needing to win at all costs and in all situations can and will eventually get in your way.

In his book What Got You Here Won't Get You There, Dr. Goldsmith outlines a list of 20 Bad Habits in interpersonal behavior that commonly arise in all of us, but that we often overlook. Some of these—like #2—seem unlikely to ever be "bad" habits. But sometimes winning and getting ahead can only happen when you make it easy for others to win with you. Dr. Goldsmith is a keynote speaker at the 2013 NBJ Summit.

20 bad habits

1. Winning too much: The need to win at all costs and in all situations. 

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

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

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

5. Starting with NO, BUT, HOWEVER: The overuse of these negative qualifiers, which secretly say to everyone that I’m right and 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 refusal to share information in order to maintain an advantage over others.  

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

11. Claiming credit that 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.

16. Not listening: The most passive-aggressive form 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.

Source:  ©2007 Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, Page 40-41 Hyperion Books. Reprinted with permission.

For more information on Dr. Marshall Goldsmith's keynote presentation coming up at the 2013 NBJ Summit, click here!

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.