MOJO:  Probably African in origin. 


  • A magic charm or spell.
  • An amulet, often a small flannel bag containing one or more magic items, worn by adherents of hoodoo or voodoo.
  • Personal magnetism; charm.

Marshall Goldsmith, is the author of  MOJO: How to Get It, How to Keep It, and How to Get It Back If You Lose It.  He might not have been thinking about careers, but MOJO is a necessary component of  your job search as well. 

Here is Marshall’s take on the four essential components of MOJO.

  • Identity: If MOJO is that positive spirit toward what you are doing that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside, identity is the definition of you. The way that we define ourselves – as human beings – can either enhance or destroy our MOJO.
  • Achievement: In MOJO we add a new twist to the concept of achievement. We look at achievement as not only what you bring to any activity (motivation, knowledge, ability, confidence and authenticity), we also look at what the activity brings to you (happiness, rewards, meaning, learning and gratitude). Both elements of achievement are needed for great MOJO.
  • Reputation: Our reputation is determined by how the rest of the world defines us. If we are engaged in activities that involve influencing other people (and most of us, for most of the time, are), then our reputation will impact our MOJO. Reputation is much harder to change than behavior and reputational change can only be achieved over time.
  • Acceptance: A key to maintaining MOJO is learning to change what you can change and to accept what you cannot change. For example, Peter Drucker taught me to accept the fact that every decision is made by the person who has the power to make that decision (not the ‘right’ person or the ‘fair’ person). Few people deeply internalize this simple point. Once we accept that decision makers are our customers and learn to influence them in the most positive possible way we increase both our personal happiness and our organizational meaning.

Do you have MOJO?  If not, how can you get your MOJO back?  More on these topics later.

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