Review of Triggers By Marshall Goldsmith

July 26, 2016

By Koos Groenewoud

Review “TRIGGERS” by Marshall Goldsmith, with Mark Reiter. How your behaviour will change for good and you will become the person you want to be.

I, the undersigned, cannot be regarded as objective where Marshall Goldsmith is concerned. In fact I am a fan of his, as well as a friend and ambassador. In that capacity I met him for the fourth time on January 29th of 2016. (Focus Conferences “Masterclass Triggers”,  Nyenrode Business University, Breukelen – The Netherlands).

Marshall Goldsmith (along with John Kotter) has strongly influenced and intensified my perspective on leadership.

I wrote the following on this:


After watching his films on TRIGGERS:


One would IMMEDIATELY want to order his book…


Personally I think chapter 14 (We Do Not Get Better Without Structure) on the way Alan Mullally managed to salvage the Ford Motor Company is a fantastic chapter.


Reading on the “Belief Triggers” (from “If I Understand, I Will Do” through “I Am Able To Judge My Own Behaviour”) will firmly put both your feet on the ground. We seem to prefer to keep fooling ourselves. It is high time for reflection and the proverbial mirror. The chapter on Engagement deserves extra attention as well.

The most valuable lessons from the book will provoke thinking and acting. Critical questions (suitable for buddy coaching as well …) are, among others:

  • How happy were you today?
  • How meaningful was your day?
  • How positive were your contacts with others?
  • How engaged were you?

And on a deeper level:

  • Did you make an effort to: be happy, find meaning, build positive relationships, be fully engaged?

Indeed, it starts at your self. To me the book meant another confirmation of the notion that “It is all about behaviour”. Furthermore, Goldsmith taught me to let go. You can allow yourself to be upset about the weather, traffic jams, your boss or other relations, but (frequently) you cannot change anything about them.

Goldsmith mentions a nice example. He asks a random person in his audience “to think about someone who infuriates, outrages or drives them crazy” and “Can you visualise this person?” A nod, a dirty look and then “Yes”. Goldsmith: “How long will this person lie awake at night because of you?”. “Not one minute…”. “Who is punished, who hands out the punishment?” The answer is undeniably:”I am and I do”. And that is how it is. Let go…

I heartily recommend this book. For a preview or to order the book:

In English:

In Dutch: or   

Koos Groenewoud. Lelystad, 25th June 2016. Translation Ron Brouwer

AAA (Triple A) From Management to (NEW) Leadership / AAA Total Facility Management