Friday, September 7, 2012

How Successful People Think - by John Maxwell

How you think is how you live.  Our thought life is not some hidden, personal area of our lives.  It 'leaks' into our actions and behaviors and interactions with others. 

John Maxwell, in his usual direct and succinct way, discusses 11 areas of "thinking" that influence our lives.  In this small book, he is trying to identify the key areas of thought that determine if a person will be successful or not in any area of their lives.  His theory?  Change your thinking = change your life. 

His list of "thinking" areas is as follows:  (1) Big-Picture Thinking, (2) Focused Thinking, (3) Creative Thinking, (4) Realistic Thinking, (5) Strategic Thinking, (6) Possibility Thinking, (7) Reflective Thinking, (8) Question Popular Thinking, (9) Benefit from Shared Thinking, (10) Unselfish Thinking, and (11) Bottom-line Thinking. 

'Successful' people tend to think in those ways.  They engage the big picture and are not limited by narrow views.  They focus their thoughts on what is most important.  They are not dry and static, but engage in creative problem solving.  They blend positive thinking about what is possible with realistic thinking in order to plan for the worst-case scenario.  They plan ahead with strategic thinking, learn from past mistakes with reflective thinking, and never automatically follow popular-thinking without first questioning its foundation and truth.  Successful people include others in their brainstorming and projects so as to benefit from shared thinking because the wealth of the whole is greater than one part.  They engage in unselfish thinking and behavior, which is always a 'win' in the long run for their organization's purpose and health. And, finally, successful people never lose sight of the bottom-line: why they do what they do. 

As with all of John Maxwell's books, I often finish a book feeling inspired to grow and lead in a better way...and I feel overwhelmed with the sheer number of ideals and new actions he suggests putting into practice.  John states things to simply and practically that it sounds as if it is the easiest thing in the world is to put these new actions into place.  Well, that may take some time!  I feel that the best way to read John's books is to select 2 or 3 key action areas to put into practice, and consider it success if you do!

Summary - a good read...but not my favorite...too many ideas packed into one little booklet makes it hard to know which one to focus on!

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