Creating Behavior That Lasts
Becoming the person you want to be

by Marshall Goldsmith

In his powerful new book, bestselling author and world-renowned executive coach Marshall Goldsmith examines the environmental and psychological triggers that can derail us at work and in life.

Do you ever find that you are not the patient, compassionate problem solver you believe yourself to be? Are you surprised at how irritated or flustered the normally unflappable you becomes in the presence of a specific colleague at work? Have you ever felt your temper accelerate from zero to sixty when another driver cuts you off in traffic?

About the Book

As Marshall Goldsmith points out, our reactions don’t occur in a vacuum. They are usually the result of unappreciated triggers in our environment—the people and situations that lure us into behaving in a manner diametrically opposed to the colleague, partner, parent, or friend we imagine ourselves to be. These triggers are constant and relentless and omnipresent. The smell of bacon wafts up from the kitchen, and we forget our doctor’s advice on lowering our cholesterol. Our phone chirps, and we glance instinctively at the glaring screen instead of looking into the eyes of the person we are with. So often the environment seems to be outside our control. Even if that is true, as Goldsmith points out, we have a choice in how we respond.

In Triggers, his most powerful and insightful book yet, Goldsmith shows how we can overcome the trigger points in our lives, and enact meaningful and lasting change.

Change, no matter how urgent and clear the need, is hard. Knowing what to do does not ensure that we will actually do it. We are superior planners, says Goldsmith, but become inferior doers as our environment exerts its influence through the course of our day. We forget our intentions. We become tired, even depleted, and allow our discipline to drain down like water in a leaky bucket. In Triggers, Goldsmith offers a simple “magic bullet” solution in the form of daily self-monitoring, hinging around what he calls “active” questions. These are questions that measure our effort, not our results. There’s a difference between achieving and trying; we can’t always achieve a desired result, but anyone can try. In the course of Triggers, Goldsmith details the six “engaging questions” that can help us take responsibility for our efforts to improve and help us recognize when we fall short.

Filled with revealing and illuminating stories from his work with some of the most successful chief executives and power brokers in the business world, Goldsmith offers a personal playbook on how to achieve change in our lives, make it stick, and become the person we want to be.

If we do not create and control our environment, our environment creates and controls us.

In triggers
you will learn

How to change your habit

Belief triggers that prevent lasting change

How to identify your triggers

Passive Questions


The Circle of Engagement

Six active questions to change our behaviors

Who is it for?

This is for people who want to change their behaviors
This is not for people who do not want to change their behaviors, Because no one can make a successful and contented adult change their behavior unless they want to.

About Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith has been recognized as the world’s leading Executive Coach and the New York Times bestselling author of many books, including What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, Mojo, and Triggers. He received his Ph.D. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. In his executive-coaching career, Goldsmith has advised more than 200 major CEOs and their management teams. He and his wife live in Nashville, Tennessee.

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What People Are Saying about triggers

GM Rao

CEO GMR Group (India) | Indian Entrepreneur of the Year

“Marshall Goldsmith is a great author and world-renowned executive coach. His contribution to our group has been immense and we have greatly benefited by his unparalleled experience and his knowledge. In Triggers he shares illuminating stories from his work with great global leaders. He helps us transform our lives and helps us become more holistic human beings. This is a book worth reading for every practicing professional and for those who aspire to leadership.”

Nils Lommerin

President & CEO, Del Monte Foods, Inc.

“Marshall Goldsmith’s Triggers is a wonderful read. By using real world examples to teach key leadership points he adds tremendous credibility to the valuable leaders’ lesson contained throughout the book.”

Vijay Govindarajan

Coxe Distinguished Professor Dartmouth Tuck School of Business,
Marvin Bower Fellow at Harvard Business School and the New York
Times bestselling author of Reverse Innovation

“My professional career has been devoted to helping organizations create strategy, implement strategy and achieve breakthrough innovation. Triggers can help you create a strategy for your life, implement your strategy and achieve breakthrough innovation.”

Aicha Evans

VP and General Manager, Intel, Fortune Top Ten Next
Generation Female Leaders

“Marshall’s coaching invites leaders to focus relentlessly on our behavior. The leader’s behavior as well as the team’s behavior become the basis for great results and continuous improvement. This will be a key to success for the connected, global, knowledge-driven companies of the future. Triggers accelerates our focus on creating the change we need to succeed.”

Alan Mulally

CEO of the Year (US) and #3 on Fortune magazine's 50
Greatest Leaders in the World (2014)

“Triggers provides the self awareness you need to create your own world, rather than being created by the world around you.”

Brad Sugars

President, Chairman & Founder of ActionCOACH

“There is a reason Marshall is the world’s #1 Executive Coach, it’s because he understands people and how to get them performing at their best. This book is a breakthrough in how you and your people reach your peak levels of performance and then stay there. Just one strategy we implemented has the productivity of my executive team soaring. As the Chairman of the world’s largest business coaching company, I read a lot of books on business and personal success, very, very few deliver the way Marshall has here.”

Brian Walker

President and CEO Herman Miller

“Triggers is Marshall at his story-telling best. Marshall has a unique ability to enable leaders to put down their well-developed guards, to see not what is wrong, but what is possible if they dedicate themselves to getting better. This is a must read for anyone who wants to get better at work and life.”

Brian C. Cornell

Chairman and CEO, Target Corporation

“Marshall is a valuable coach and partner in driving organizational change and performance improvement. Triggers will guide a new group of executives looking to reach their full business and personal potential.”

Chip Bell

author of Sprinkles and Managers as Mentors

“Triggers is both a powerful wake-up call to be the extraordinary person you were meant to be as well as a pragmatic blueprint for self-renewal, restoration and realization. Get ready for a roller coaster ride on the most important adventure of your life.”

Chris Cuomo

Emmy, Peabody and Edward R. Morrow award-winning
news reporter and host of CNN's New Day.

“There are things about myself that I want to change or improve but I always flame out after a little while, blaming work, travel, family responsibilities, etc. Well now I have no excuse! In Triggers, Marshall not only distills the obstacles to change, he provides a simple (but not necessarily easy) process that allows us to overcome the main roadblocks to positive change: consistency and the environment. After reading this book, I am ready to try!”

David Allen

world leader in personal productivity and multi-million
selling author of Getting Things Done

“I have known and worked with Marshall for thirty years. Packed with awesomely real truths about how we are with ourselves and how to make life better, Triggers is the next step forward in his amazing career.”

David Chang

James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef Award winner,
Founder and CEO Momofuku Group

“Triggers is fantastic! It is a summary of all the things that Marshall has taught me over the past years…that we can’t really reach our personal goals until we move away from self-centered goals. In order to become the person we aspire to be, we need to embark on a journey of awareness that requires attention, action and discipline.”

David Kornberg

CEO Express

“Marshall has taught me the importance of making a positive difference in every aspect of my life. His coaching techniques and valuable lessons empower you to extract greater meaning from interpersonal relationships and provide a superior understanding of the great results that can be achieved through positive leadership.”

Deanna Mulligan

CEO Guardian Life,
Fortune 50 Most Powerful Women in Business

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks…without Marshall Goldsmith’s help. With his coaching, you can change your old behavior to create new outcomes.”

Eric Schurenberg

President and Editor-in-Chief, INC magazine

Marshall Goldsmith is well known as one of the world’s top thinkers on leadership. Once you read Triggers, you’ll realize that he is also one of the world’s top observers of smart, driven people and their many behavioral quirks. I promise you, you’ll recognize your own tics in many of Marshall’s telling anecdotes–I sure saw many of my own–and if you pay attention to what Marshall says, you’ll see what you need to do to change that behavior for the better.

Frances Hesselbein

President and CEO, The Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute |
1998 Presidential Medal of Freedom Award Recipient

“Triggers inspires us to be better people, better leaders, better fellow travelers. ‘Creating behavior’ is our new battle cry for a bright future.”

Fred Hassan

Managing director, Warburg Pincus, former CEO, Pharmacy and Schering
Plough, chairman, Bausch & Lomb

No one can match Marshall’s massive footprint in helping people become who they want to be. He is the top thought leader in executive coaching because he drives new thinking about self-motivation. The importance of self-awareness, self-engagement and positive behavioral change is best captured in Triggers. It will help light up many lives!

Fred Lynch

CEO Masonite International

“Once again Marshall Goldsmith proves why he is not just one of the top 10 business thinkers but one of the top 10 all around thinkers! What I love most about this book is that it’s not just for business leaders, it provides a clear path to improvement for anyone who wants to make positive change in their lives. Thanks again Marshall for helping me make positive and lasting improvements in my behaviors and my life – my family thanks you too!”

Geoff Smart

Chairman of ghSmart, New York Times bestselling
coauthor of Who and Power Score

“Marshall Goldsmith is the most disciplined thought leader I know. He personally practices what he preaches, with great results. Triggers is his latest gift to leaders who want to achieve positive behavioral change.”

GM Rao

CEO GMR Group (India) | Indian Entrepreneur of the Year

“Marshall Goldsmith is a great author and world-renowned executive coach. His contribution to our group has been immense and we have greatly benefited by his unparalleled experience and his knowledge. In Triggers he shares illuminating stories from his work with great global leaders. He helps us transform our lives and helps us become more holistic human beings. This is a book worth reading for every practicing professional and for those who aspire to leadership.”

Hubert Joly

CEO, Best Buy

“Marshall Goldsmith is one of the world’s foremost experts at helping people get better. In this new book, he provides a rich set of new, practical, life tested ideas, concepts and frameworks that will help those of us who want to change, be the best that we can be, and be the person we want to be.”

Jan Carlson

CEO Autoliv (Sweden), world leader in auto safety

“Another phenomenal book from Marshall, full of practical advice to change behaviors for the better. A fun and very enlightening read.”

Ian Read

CEO, Pfizer

“Reading Triggers is like talking with Marshall. You get clear, practical, and actionable suggestions.”