Success often manifests itself in the form of destructive habits in the workplace. We start cultivating habits which might stop out further progress. Marshall Goldsmith is his book “What got you here, Won’t get you there” listed twenty such habits.
1. Winning too much - The need to win at all costs and in all situations - when it matters, when it doesn’t, and when it’s totally beside the point.
2. Adding too much value - The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion. Trying to do too much on your own, and not relying/believing in subordinates.
3. Passing judgment - The need to rate others and impose our standards on them. Passing judgments, too fast or too soon is not right.
4. Making destructive comments - The needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty.
5. Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However”: The overuse of these negative qualifiers which tend to secretly say to everyone, “I’m right. You’re wrong.
6. Telling the world how smart we are - The need to show people we’re smarter than they think we are. Trying to speak at every occasion without any purpose. Before we speak anything we should stop and think, “Is it worthwhile”
7. Speaking when angry: Using emotional volatility as a management tool. Never ever speak when you are emotional (either too angry or too happy)
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 praise and reward.
11. Claiming credit that we don’t deserve - The most annoying way to overestimate our contribution to any success.
12. Making excuses - The need to present 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 when 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 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.
He goes on to devote a few pages to each habit in detail which was very insightful and interesting. He also goes on to devote several pages to the “twenty first” habit, goal obsession. Goldsmith argues that many people lose sight of the here and now because they spend their time plotting out their long term goals, not realizing that the here and now is often the best place to take that first step to whatever you have in mind. In fact, obsession with goals often is the underlying factor in many of these bad habits.