Marshall Goldsmith’s Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts, Becoming the Person You Want to Be

Every night, Marshall Goldsmith forces himself to do one of the most difficult things imaginable. He has a friend call him and ask the same 22 questions. These questions all start with the phrase, “Did I do my best [today] to,” and the endings may be strategic (“Did I do my best to set clear goals?”), professional (“…preserve all client relationships?”), philosophical (“…be grateful for what I have?”), physical (“…exercise?”), or personal (“Did I do my best to say or do something nice for Lyda?” [his spouse]). Many of them are directly related to increasing his own leadership skill: “Did I do my best to learn something new? To avoid destructive comments about others?” These questions are one example of what Goldsmith calls “triggers,” or deliberately designed environmental cues that move you continuously, relentlessly, in the direction of productive, beneficial change.

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