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Things to Think About - How many times did you have to be right today?

Things to Think About

By Pepper de Callier

“How many times did you have to be right today?”  Marshall Goldsmith

In a recent speech for Inc. Magazine in Phoenix, Arizona, Marshall Goldsmith delivered the above quote.  Let me put in context.  He was talking about people who always have to be right.  They just can’t miss an opportunity to set people straight, to have the last word, and to show others how brilliant they are.  The problem these people encounter, sooner or later, is that people don’t want to be around them, let alone communicate with them.  Not good news for anyone who has to be right and who doesn’t live alone in a cave.  Goldsmith confessed to having the tendency to want to be right and have the last word, but to make sure he neutralizes that tendency, he asks himself every night, “How many times did you have to be right today?”  He then added, “I’ve never gotten to zero.” 

I applaud him for his honesty and openness, but more than that, I thank him for this wonderful reminder for us all.  Think about this quote the next time you “have to be right”.  Stop. Think. Consider the impact it will have on the relationship if you just remained quiet.  My wife loves it when I practice this.  Give it a try and see how it can lower the stress level in a relationship.

Till next time…

About the Author: Pepper de Callier is one of the most respected senior executive coaches and authorities on leadership in Europe. Learn more about him at