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  • Marshall Goldsmith


I loved this book. At the end of it I got to understand myself better. I have opted for a major Career transition from being a Corporate Executive over three decades to starting our Business Management Consulting outfit called 'The Firm' . This change needed many alterations in my behaviors. I was moving practically on to the other side of the comfortable Corporate high-chair. Take it from me, this book helped me a lot to understand my behaviours and my triggers. This could help you too.

Certain peculiar situations trigger certain different behavioural responses from us which are not in line with the general pattern of our behaviours. We need to be conscious and self-aware about these 'triggers' which make us behave differently so that we can understand and spark-off positive and lasting changes in our life and at our will.

The premise for changes in behaviours is based on two immutable truths...that meaningful behaviour changes are hard to come by and that real behavioural changes come about only after one feels the real internal need for change. Not otherwise.

Whilst we acknowledge need for change, often we fail because we do not ensure presence of certain pre-conditions which facilitate change. Our attempts to give up smoking faces a similar challenge..." my enthusiasm to give up after sometime, will not fade". We carry a lot of baggage on our journey of change and that comes on our way. Overconfidence, procrastination, stubbornness, confusion, resentment.....these are all resentments and rationalisations we carry within us that effectively block us from making those changes.

Our environment relentlessly triggers certain reactions and triggers to our behaviours. Unless we identify them we will not be able to control them. Hence we will become victims of our not desireable behavioural triggers. To that extent, we will have to learn to forecast our environment so that we are in a state of readiness to take charge of our triggers.

A behavioural trigger is any stimulus that impacts our behaviour. Marshall identifies certain unique characteristics of 'Triggers' and clusters them into the classical 4 Quadrants..

1.Triggers that are Encouraging & Productive 2. Triggers that are Disencouraging though Productive 3. Triggers that are Counter productive and Encouraging 4. Triggers that are Counter productive but Discouraging

Once we list down all our triggers and classify them into the above buckets, we will be able to identify and take a call on what we want and thus what we should also what we don't want and which should be discouraged. Whilst all of this will help us put science around making us plan & manage our triggers, fact still remains that our triggers in real-time need to be managed. First we really need to believe and thus want to change . Thereafter we need to manage Execution, which is our prime weakness. No change happens till 'AIWATT' acronym that stands for...'Am I Willing At This Time For Change'.

Goldsmith explains his 'Wheel of Change'. Behavioural changes dont hapoen overnight. The route map needs to be systematically mapped. What are the New things that we want in our behaviours that will lead us to create the future we envisage....what are the good things from our previous behaviours that we want to carry forward in the new state....what are the things in our behaviours we disliked and hence need to givev-up in the future...and what are things we dislike in the present but we necessarily need to carry these forward even into the new journey . This is Marshall's way of not only dreaming of behavioural changes but he actually coaches and prompts us to plan a route map and develop a proper and RIGHT structure around the Change Drive to the destination, which can control triggers for better and desirable future behaviours.

The latter part of the book gives Coaching tips on how to develop Engaging and meaningful Questions to Coaches as also how to develop a Coaching Planner for those who need to help their clients on their agenda for behavioural changes.

Goldsmith extensively relies on the social-psychologist Baumeister's mod? Each one of us has a limited quantity of 'ego-strength' which depletes when we keep making compromises and self-regulation. In the course of such compromises, we get 'ego depleted'. We put up a facade once we perceive the need to transact on themes when we operate in a state of ego-depletion.

Recommendation is for us to codify and record our ego-depleting moments and incidences through a given period and sufficiently put it to halt once we perceive that we are fatigued or ego-depleted and are about to take decisions from that state.

The hazard of leading a Changeless life is high. We cannot keep prolonging negative behavior. We cannot wilfully be miserable. We have to achieve newer heights.

Change we must but thru mastery over our triggers which otherwise become a challenge for change.

A must read book for ambitious professionals who want to succeed in the dynamic domains of the market.

Would rate it 4/5.

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