By Bob Clark
April 29, 2010
Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It
By Marshall Goldsmith with Mark Reiter
Hyperion, New York, NY
February 2010, 224 pages, $26.99
Marshall Goldsmith is a prolific writer and successful executive coach. His work is always good, and this one is no exception.
The book is all about the attitude we bring to work every day. Goldsmith’s operating definition of Mojo is “-¦that positive spirit toward what we are doing now.” It is something that “-¦starts from the inside and radiates to the outside.”
Goldsmith’s premise is that we all focus on what really matters to us, and for most people that is health, wealth, relationships, happiness and meaning. Without practice and purpose, he suggests that our default response to life will be failing to experience happiness and meaning where we are - and we will be overcome by inertia to change the situation.
The book is devoted to examining and explaining ways to escape this trap and increase personal effectiveness in any environment. Goldsmith has earned many accolades for his work on this book, and they are deserved. Uncomfortable self-examination is needed to take full advantage of his recommendations, but doing so will be worth the effort.
Much of the book is devoted to what the author calls the Mojo Tool Kit. There are 14 items listed, and each is accompanied by an explanation and examples.
By way of example, Goldsmith provides one key bit of advice. In an age dominated by knowledge workers, there are a lot of very smart people in positions where influence is possible, but others are the decision makers. His counsel is as follows:
Every decision in the world is made by the person who has the power to make that decision - not the “right” person, or the “smartest” person, or the “most qualified” person, and in most cases not you. If you influence this decision maker, you will make a positive difference. If you do not influence this person, you will not make a positive difference. Make peace with this. You will have a better life! And, you will make more of a positive difference in your organization and you will be happier.
If this one piece of advice could work its way through many of the workplace environments in America, we all would be better served.
Goldsmith’s book is worth the read. The Web site created by him (www.mojothebook.com) contains more information.
Bob Clark is the president of RWC Consulting LLC and has more than 30 years’ experience in labor-management relations. He provides consulting help in labor relations and is an adjunct professor at Concordia University in Ann Arbor.