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Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It

by Marshall Goldsmith


Amazon link: Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It




Mojo is the moment when we do something that’s purposeful, powerful, and positive and the rest of the world recognizes it.

This book is about that moment—and how we can create it in our lives, maintain it, and recapture it when we need it.”

In his follow-up to the “New York Times” bestseller “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There“, #1 executive coach Marshall Goldsmith shares the ways in which to get—and keep—our Mojo.

Our professional and personal Mojo is impacted by four key factors: “identity” (who do you think you are?), “achievement” (what have you done lately?), “reputation” (who do other people think you are—and what have you’ve done lately?), and “acceptance” (what can you change—and when do you need to just “let it go"?).

Goldsmith outlines the positive actions leaders must take, with their teams or themselves, to initiate winning streaks and keep them coming.

Mojo is: that positive spirit—towards what we are doing—now—that starts from the inside—and radiates to the outside.

Mojo is at its peak when we are experiencing both happiness and meaning in what we are doing and communicating this experience to the world around us.

The Mojo Toolkit provides fourteen practical tools to help you achieve both happiness and meaning—not only in business, but in life.




Praise for “MOJO”

“"Mojo” moves us to define who we are in a new and illuminating way! “Mojo” is a guidebook for the leaders of the future.

Thank you, Marshall!”—Frances Hesselbein, Distinguished Chair of Leadership, U.S. Military Academy, West Point; winner, U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom; former CEO, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.

“Marshall’s “Mojo” provides wonderful perspectives and tools for each of us—to integrate and focus our lives—to contribute—and to serve.

Thank you!”—Alan Mulally, CEO, Ford; winner, Leader of the Future Award, Leader-to-Leader Institute

“A mantra for self-realization and self-actualization.

I regard the concept of “Mojo” as a milestone in our quest for meaning and evolution—and a beacon in our journey to our inner world.”

—GM Rao, CEO, GMR; and Entrepreneur of the Year (India)

“Another thought-provoking, practical, and insightful book by Marshall.

I love the simplicity and wisdom in dealing with human behavior in business and, more importantly, in our personal lives.”

—Eduardo Castro-Wright, Vice Chairman, Walmart Stores, Inc., the world’s largest retailer

“Those of us who have been lucky enough to spend time in a classroom with Marshall Goldsmith know what a positive influence his teaching can have.

In “Mojo", Marshall shares his scholarship more broadly and teaches us all how to turn inertia in our professional or personal lives into meaning and happiness.

There is no more important lesson in business or in life!”—Tom Glocer, CEO, Thomson Reuters

“As soon as I started reading this book, I felt my “Mojo” rising.

The next best thing to being coached by Marshall is reading his books.

His writing always gets me revved up and focused on getting the most meaning and happiness out of my day.

This book can elevate any reader’s game.”

—Mark Tercek, CEO, Nature Conservancy; former Managing Partner, Goldman Sachs

“Marshall Goldsmith is one of a kind: a unique and brilliant combination of getting inside our minds about those problems which keep us awake at night-- and not only clarifying, but actually solving them! Lively and engaging.

A damn good read, which every leader will not only enjoy, but profit from.”

—Warren Bennis, bestselling author, Distinguished Professor at USC, and world authority on leadership

“Marshall’s books are very much like Marshall-- insightful, direct, focused, wise, clear, somewhat provocative, positive, lively, and energetic.

For those who have not worked with Marshall and experienced these qualities, his latest book, “Mojo", is a great substitute.

“Mojo” is like him—a little crazy, yet very helpful!”

—Jonathan Klein, CEO, Getty Images; American Photo’s “Most Important Person in Photography”

“Marshall has a gift for identifying the essential ingredients of success—for individuals and organizations.

The insights in “Mojo” are certain to help people at all stages of their career tap their full potential and live more fulfilling lives.

Another great book, Marshall!”—John Hammergren, CEO, McKesson Corporation; winner, Warren Bennis Award for Leadership

“"Mojo” is elusive, hard to define, at least as old as homo sapiens … and worth its weight in gold.

This thoughtful and thought-provoking book should be read by anyone who has tasted “Mojo” and wants more.”

—Kevin Kelly, CEO, Heidrick and Struggles, global search and advisory firm

“Marshall helps leaders, aspiring leaders, and anyone who wants to enrich their personal and professional lives focus on actions that provide both meaning and happiness.

“Mojo” is a great reminder that we’re most likely to enjoy success in our careers and lives when we regularly take the time to be honest with ourselves.”

—Chris Kubasik, President, Lockheed Martin; Chairman, Sandia Corporation

“Marshall provides an array of case studies where he combines business challenges around navigating in the `new normal’ with real tools—tools for yourself and tools for you to help others that you care about.

Thanks to Marshall for providing another wonderful read, with both short term and longer term ideas for personal growth.”

—Teresa Ressel, CEO, UBS Securities LLC; former Chief Financial Officer, U.S. Treasury

“Marshall clearly articulates the payoff—for your company, your family, your community, and yourself—of having more meaning and happiness in your life.

And he provides a compelling and clear road map for getting you there.”

—Greg Brown, President and CEO, Motorola

“One more great book by Marshall! With his typical depth, simplicity, and clarity, he helps me understand, accept, and improve my “Mojo” with lasting positive impact!”—Fabrizio Parini, CEO, Lindt (Italy); former CEO, Ghirardelli Chocolate

“Marshall Goldsmith is tops at the hardest part of the alphabet—ABC, adult behavior change.

We give him high marks!”—Charles Butt, CEO, H-E- B, one of America’s 20 largest private companies

“Marshall is a master at helping people gain self awareness.

“Mojo” provides great food for the soul.

Reading this book makes me feel like I am listening to Marshall!”—Liz Smith, CEO, OSI Restaurant Partners, a world leader in casual dining

“Again, Marshall has his finger on the pulse of the worker and the workplace.

This clear, insightful, and wise book helps employees find their “Mojo".

It helps them move beyond commitment and find ways to truly contribute in their professional and personal lives.

The greatest power in the workplace is the workforce and Marshall has figured out how to unlock that potential.”

—David Ulrich, professor, University of Michigan; co-author of “The Why of Work”

“Emerson once wrote, `What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”

“Mojo” focuses on that which lies within us, what we do with it, and how others perceive it resonating from us.

A wonderful read!”—Alan Hassenfeld, former Chairman, Executive Committee, Hasbro

“Looking for that special sauce that produces extraordinary success?

“Mojo” is it.

Once again, Marshall’s wisdom and generosity light up the pages.”

—Keith Ferrazzi, bestselling author of “Never Eat Alone” and “Who’s Got Your Back”

“Marshall provides sound, practical advice and illustrates it through real world examples.

He provides a road map to increasing your personal happiness and outlines steps to get back into the groove.

A great plane read!”—George Borst, President and CEO, Toyota Financial Services

“A great strategy book for life! Innovative ideas to help you find happiness and meaning.”

—Vijay Govindarajan, professor, Tuck School of Business; Chief Innovation Consultant, GE; world authority on strategy

“"Mojo” is a rich collection of insights into the human experience and practical techniques for improving the quality of our lives.

Marshall’s a master teacher and communicator, and his self- disclosing stories and style make this a delightful as well as powerful read.

It’s a superb primer for getting along in uncertain times, with much more fun and meaning along the way.”

—David Allen, bestselling author of “Getting Things Done” and “Making It All Work”

“Put your “Mojo” in gear! Marshall again inspires us to knock down the obstacles, overcome the barriers, and take charge of ourselves.”

—Joe Scarlett, CEO (retired), Tractor Supply Company; founder, Scarlett Leadership Institute

“Marshall Goldsmith does it again! A must- read book! Strikes a deep chord in each of us—about what really matters in our lives and work.

At no time in history have more people and organizations needed to get their “Mojo” back.

This book tells you how!”—Mark Thompson, bestselling author of “Success Built to Last; Forbes” magazine’s Venture Investor with the Midas Touch

“We all want to get our “Mojo” working.

Marshall Goldsmith helps us to understand “what” our mojo is and “how” to get it working … to our advantage and for our self-worth.”

—Jim Lawrence, CFO, Unilever

“Marshall Goldsmith is a master at making us think more deeply about ourselves and the world we work in.

“Mojo” is a grabber—uniquely provocative—and moves the reader to act.

Quite a gift!”

—Jon Katzenbach, bestselling author of “The Wisdom of Teams”; Senior Partner, Booz & Company





  • What Twenty-Two of the World’s Greatest Leaders and Thinkers Say about Mojo
  • Mojo
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Section I: You and Your Mojo
    • Mojo, You, and Me
    • Measuring Your Mojo
      • That Negative Spirit Called Nojo
      • The Mojo Scorecard
    • The Mojo Paradox
      • This simple “two question” discipline
  • Section II: The Building Blocks of Mojo
    • Identity: Who Do You Think You Are?
      • 1. Remembered Identity
      • 2. Reflected Identity
      • 3. Programmed Identity
      • 4. Created Identity
    • Achievement: What Have You Done Lately?
      • The Disconnect Between Their Definition of Achievement and Our Definition of Achievement
      • Are We Kidding Ourselves?
    • Reputation: Who Do People Think You Are?
      • Would You Rather Be “Smart” or “Effective”?
      • Why We May Be Clueless About Our Reputations
      • Repeat After Me
      • Reputation Questionnaire
      • How to Change Your Reputation
    • Acceptance: When Can You Let Go?
    • Mojo Killers
      • 1. Over-Committing
      • 2. Waiting for the Facts to Change
      • 3. Looking for Logic in All the Wrong Places
      • 4. Bashing the Boss
      • 5. Refusing to Change Because of “Sunk Costs”
      • 6. Confusing the Mode You’re In
    • Four Pointless Arguments
      • 1. Let Me Keep Talking
      • 2. I Had It Rougher Than You
      • 3. Why Did You Do That?
      • 4. It’s Not Fair
    • That Job Is Gone!
      • Globalization
      • Increased Gap in Compensation Between the Top People in an Organization and Everyone Else
      • Decreased Job Security
      • Erosion in the Past Twenty Years of Company-Funded Guaranteed Health-Care and Retirement Security
      • Global Financial Crisis That Began in 2008
      • New Technology
      • A New Breed of Professional Employee
  • Section III: Your Mojo Tool Kit
    • Change You or Change It
    • Identity: Making Sense of Who You Are
      • TOOL 1: Establish Criteria That Matter to You
      • TOOL 2: Find Out Where You’re “Living”
      • TOOL 3: Be the Optimist in the Room
        • An Executive Optimist
        • The Optimism Bias
      • TOOL 4: Take Away One Thing
    • Achievement: Making It Easier to Get Things Done
      • TOOL 5: Rebuild One Brick at a Time
        • First rule: Stop trying to be an oracle
        • Second rule: Move quickly
        • Third rule: Say two no’s for every yes
        • Fourth rule: It pays to advertise
      • TOOL 6: Live Your Mission in the Small Moments Too
      • TOOL 7: Swim in the Blue Water
    • Reputation: Taking Control of Your “Story”
      • TOOL 8: When to Stay, When to Go
      • TOOL 9: Hello, Good-bye
        • 1. Have a Pre-Exit Strategy
        • 2. The Three Envelopes
        • 3. Stop the Identity Theft
        • 4. How Much of Your Reputation Is Really Yours?
      • TOOL 10: Adopt a Metrics System
      • TOOL 11: Reduce This Number
    • Acceptance: Change What You Can, Let Go of What You Can’t
      • TOOL 12: Influence Up as Well as Down
      • TOOL 13: Name It, Frame It, Claim It
      • TOOL 14: Give Your Friends a Lifetime Pass
  • Section IV: Connecting Inside to Outside
    • Going Beyond Self-Help
    • Coda: You Go First
  • Appendix I: The Mojo Survey: Measuring Short-Term Satisfaction and Long-Term Benefit
  • Appendix II: What the Mojo Survey Results Mean
  • Index


“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker

The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure

Managing Oneself (PDF) is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context




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