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Triggers
Cover of Triggers
Triggers
Creating Behavior That Lasts—Becoming the Person You Want to Be
Borrow Borrow

Bestselling author and world-renowned executive coach Marshall Goldsmith examines the environmental and psychological triggers that can derail us at work and in life.

Do you ever find that you are not the patient, compassionate problem solver you believe yourself to be? Are you surprised at how irritated or flustered the normally unflappable you becomes in the presence of a specific colleague at work? Have you ever felt your temper accelerate from zero to sixty when another driver cuts you off in traffic?

Our reactions don’t occur in a vacuum. They are usually the result of unappreciated triggers in our environment—the people and situations that lure us into behaving in a manner diametrically opposed to the colleague, partner, parent, or friend we imagine ourselves to be. These triggers are constant and relentless and omnipresent. So often the environment seems to be outside our control. Even if that is true, as Goldsmith points out, we have a choice in how we respond.

In Triggers, his most powerful and insightful book yet, Goldsmith shows how we can overcome the trigger points in our lives, and enact meaningful and lasting change. Goldsmith offers a simple “magic bullet” solution in the form of daily self-monitoring, hinging around what he calls “active” questions. These are questions that measure our effort, not our results. There’s a difference between achieving and trying; we can’t always achieve a desired result, but anyone can try. In the course of Triggers, Goldsmith details the six “engaging questions” that can help us take responsibility for our efforts to improve and help us recognize when we fall short.

Filled with revealing and illuminating stories from his work with some of the most successful chief executives and power brokers in the business world, Goldsmith offers a personal playbook on how to achieve change in our lives, make it stick, and become the person we want to be.

Bestselling author and world-renowned executive coach Marshall Goldsmith examines the environmental and psychological triggers that can derail us at work and in life.

Do you ever find that you are not the patient, compassionate problem solver you believe yourself to be? Are you surprised at how irritated or flustered the normally unflappable you becomes in the presence of a specific colleague at work? Have you ever felt your temper accelerate from zero to sixty when another driver cuts you off in traffic?

Our reactions don’t occur in a vacuum. They are usually the result of unappreciated triggers in our environment—the people and situations that lure us into behaving in a manner diametrically opposed to the colleague, partner, parent, or friend we imagine ourselves to be. These triggers are constant and relentless and omnipresent. So often the environment seems to be outside our control. Even if that is true, as Goldsmith points out, we have a choice in how we respond.

In Triggers, his most powerful and insightful book yet, Goldsmith shows how we can overcome the trigger points in our lives, and enact meaningful and lasting change. Goldsmith offers a simple “magic bullet” solution in the form of daily self-monitoring, hinging around what he calls “active” questions. These are questions that measure our effort, not our results. There’s a difference between achieving and trying; we can’t always achieve a desired result, but anyone can try. In the course of Triggers, Goldsmith details the six “engaging questions” that can help us take responsibility for our efforts to improve and help us recognize when we fall short.

Filled with revealing and illuminating stories from his work with some of the most successful chief executives and power brokers in the business world, Goldsmith offers a personal playbook on how to achieve change in our lives, make it stick, and become the person we want to be.

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Excerpts-
  • From the book Part One

    Why Don't We Become the Person We Want to Be?

    Chapter 1

    The Immutable Truths of Behavioral Change

    As an executive coach, I've been helping successful leaders achieve positive lasting change in behavior for more than thirty-five years. While almost all of my clients embrace the opportunity to change, some are a little reluctant in the beginning. Most are aware of the fact that behavioral change will help them become more effective leaders, partners, and even family members. A few are not.

    My process of helping clients is straightforward and consistent. I interview and listen to my clients' key stakeholders. These stakeholders could be their colleagues, direct reports, or board members. I accumulate a lot of confidential feedback. Then I go over the summary of this feedback with my clients. My clients take ultimate responsibility for the behavioral changes that they want to make. My job is then very simple. I help my clients achieve positive, lasting change in the behavior that they choose as judged by key stakeholders that they choose. If my clients succeed in achieving this positive change-as judged by their stakeholders-I get paid. If the key stakeholders do not see positive change, I don't get paid.

    Our odds of success improve because I'm with the client every step of the way, telling him or her how to stay on track and not regress to a former self. But that doesn't diminish the importance of these two immutable truths:

    Truth #1: Meaningful behavioral change is very hard to do.

    It's hard to initiate behavioral change, even harder to stay the course, hardest of all to make the change stick. I'd go so far as to say that adult behavioral change is the most difficult thing for sentient human beings to accomplish.

    If you think I'm overstating its difficulty, answer these questions:

    * What do you want to change in your life? It could be something major, such as your weight (a big one), your job (big too), or your career (even bigger). It could be something minor, such as changing your hairstyle or checking in with your mother more often or changing the wall color in your living room. It's not my place to judge what you want to change.

    * How long has this been going on? For how many months or years have you risen in the morning and told yourself some variation on the phrase, "This is the day I make a change"?

    * How's that working out? In other words, can you point to a specific moment when you decided to change something in your life and you acted on the impulse and it worked out to your satisfaction?

    The three questions conform to the three problems we face in introducing change into our lives.

    We can't admit that we need to change-either because we're unaware that a change is desirable, or, more likely, we're aware but have reasoned our way into elaborate excuses that deny our need for change. In the following pages, we'll examine-and dispense with-the deep-seated beliefs that trigger our resistance to change.

    We do not appreciate inertia's power over us. Given the choice, we prefer to do nothing-which is why I suspect our answers to "How long has this been going on?" are couched in terms of years rather than days. Inertia is the reason we never start the process of change. It takes extraordinary effort to stop doing something in our comfort zone (because it's painless or familiar or mildly pleasurable) in order to start something difficult that will be good for us in the long run. I cannot supply the required effort in this book. That's up to you. But through a simple process emphasizing structure and self-monitoring I can provide you with the kick start that...
About the Author-
  • Marshall Goldsmith is the leading executive coach in the world and the author of the New York Times bestsellers What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and Mojo. He received his PhD from UCLA Anderson School of Management. His client list is a who’s who of American CEOs. He and his wife live in San Diego.

Reviews-
  • Alan Mulally, CEO of the Year (US) and #3 on Fortune magazine's 50 Greatest Leaders in the World (2014) "Triggers provides the self awareness you need to create your own world, rather than being created by the world around you."
  • Ian Read, CEO, Pfizer "Reading Triggers is like talking with Marshall. You get clear, practical, and actionable suggestions."
  • Brian C. Cornell, Chairman and CEO, Target Corporation "Marshall is a valuable coach and partner in driving organizational change and performance improvement. Triggers will guide a new group of executives looking to reach their full business and personal potential."
  • Hubert Joly, CEO, Best Buy "Marshall Goldsmith is one of the world's foremost experts at helping people get better. In this new book, he provides a rich set of new, practical, life tested ideas, concepts and frameworks that will help those of us who want to change, be the best that we can be, and be the person we want to be."
  • Jim Yong Kim --12th President The World Bank "I have had the great fortune of working with Marshall for several years. He has helped me in so many ways. Triggers represents a natural progression in Marshall's work and many of the ideas in it have already helped me and many of his other clients. As with all of his books, I know that Marshall's focused, practical and insightful approach will help you in leadership, but even more important, it can help you in life!"
  • Tony Marx --CEO New York Public Library "How do we create the change we need for our organizations and for ourselves? Marshall Goldsmith is the master of helping us all find that path, avoiding the negative triggers and building upon the triggers that bring out our best. Here, again, he teaches with his unique insight, warmth and positive energy. Our job is to learn and do better, for a better outcome for all, which this book helps guide."
  • Deanna Mulligan --CEO Guardian Life, Fortune 50 Most Powerful Women in Business "You can't teach an old dog new tricks...without Marshall Goldsmith's help. With his coaching, you can change your old behavior to create new outcomes."
  • John Hammergren --CEO McKesson, Harvard Business Review 100 Top Performing CEOs in t "We place a premium on developing strong leaders at McKesson and over the years we have relied greatly on Marshall's leadership insights to support our executive talent development across the company. No matter what role a person plays in an organization, Triggers provides a hands-on framework for helping people live with intention and greater purpose, both professionally and personally."
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Triggers
Creating Behavior That Lasts—Becoming the Person You Want to Be
Marshall Goldsmith
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