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What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

I try to make it a habit to read at least a little each day.  One reason I love my Kindle is that I can have it with me and at any free moment open up one of the currently 296 books saved inside.  We don’t ride trains up here in Yamagata very often, but pulling out a book while in line at the grocery store or while waiting at a government office is easy.


I try to alternate between fiction and non-fiction.  Non-fiction can teach me a lot on the nuts and bolts of being a leader and operating a language school, but from fiction we learn more about the human condition.  One fiction book I’ve read recently is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.  It is a book about a traveling symphony and Shakespeare troop traveling around after most of the world has been devastated by a pandemic.  Timely or not depends on your perspective, but very good characters and story.


The non-fiction book I just finished reading is What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith.  It starts by listing 20 tendencies many successful people have that keep them from moving up to the next level.  It also concludes with giving some other helpful leadership advice.  There are not many books for which I’ve used the Kindle bookmark feature as often as with this one.  One section that stood out to me is the important role of selectivity in choosing one’s team.  As one executive the author coached wrote: “If I have the right people around me, I’m fine.  But if I have the wrong people, not even God can win with that hand.”  If you have an opportunity to read this book—and act on it—I highly recommend it.

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