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How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell

Updated on September 22, 2014
Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell is a freelance writer with WriterAccess, webmaster, member of Pinterest Party on FB and the owner of Lake Erie Artist Gallery.

John C. Maxwell's How Successful People Think is Definitely Worth the Time it Takes to Read

When I saw today that one of my favorite authors, John C. Maxwell, had a new book out that I hadn't read yet, I had to snatch it up right away. I became a John Maxwell fan after reading his book, Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work. It was the very first business book that I ever read from cover to cover and reread. I also listened to it on audio in my car to truly absorb it section by section. I loved the idea that by thinking differently, we change the way we act, which in turn changes our results and effectiveness.

What I love about John Maxwell is that he has the ability to make his books interesting without being condescending, and writes in a clear, well organized fashion that make his points easy to understand. His books always make me take a step back, and say, "Hmmm. . ., I can do that." And this one is no different, written in his encouraging manner, pushing us to the next level of success and leadership.

This book, How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life, was published in a pocket size, which is perfect to throw in your purse, briefcase, or backpack. This is the kind of book that you can pick up at any time, read a section, put it away, then read another section later while you are waiting for your bus, or at your doctor's office.

How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

John C. Maxwell, known as America's expert on leadership, speaks in person to hundreds of thousands of people each year. He is the founder of several leadership organizations, including Maximum Impact. A New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Maxwell has written over thirty books.


How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

The perfect, compact read for today's fast-paced world, How Successful People Think (derived from Maxwell's previous book, Thinking for a Change) guides readers through the 11 secrets successful people know. Arranged in an easy-to-follow format, America's leadership expert John C. Maxwell will teach readers how to expand their thinking and achieve their dreams. The 11 keys to successful thinking include: Big-Picture Thinking - seeing the world beyond your own needs and how that leads to great ideas Focused Thinking - removing mental clutter and distractions to realize your full potential Creative Thinking - thinking in unique ways and making breakthroughs Shared Thinking - working with others to compound results Reflective Thinking - looking at the past to gain a better understanding of the future.

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

My life has changed due to John Maxwell

Although I love to read, I mostly read fiction to relax or take me away from the real world for a time. There are very few non-fiction books that I like to read, especially in the business and leadership book category. However, several years ago, when I was introduced to the writing of John C. Maxwell, that changed.

My manager at my job at the time asked me to read the book, Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work, to discuss with her. I went into the project thinking that I wouldn't like it for two reasons: 1--I don't like business books, and 2--John Maxwell is a Christian leader and I am Jewish. I am not comfortable at any kind of evangelical sermon.

But I did read the book, and found myself completely wrong in my presuppositions about it. First of all, I enjoyed reading it, so much so, that I went out and bought the audio so that I could listen to it in my car, and really allow the ideas to sink in. There were no overtly religious overtones to the book. Although the ideas in the book could be used in a religious context, they could also easily be applied to many other situations.

At the time, I was focused on how I could change my job success using the ideas learned. Now, I come at the concept of changing my life by changing my thinking from the viewpoint of a small business owner.

This new book by John Maxwell, How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life, is a superb addition to the John Maxwell collection. And the timing of this particular book couldn't be better.

As globally people are struggling to overcome adversity caused by the current financial crisis, it is the perfect time to change our thinking and succeed despite our circumstances. The entire volume is less than 150 pages, and small enough to carry around with you. Maxwell touches on several thinking concepts, and gives you ideas of how to implement them, use them, and challenge them.

  • Big picture thinking
  • Focused thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Realistic thinking
  • Strategic thinking
  • Possibility thinking
  • Reflective thinking
  • Popular thinking
  • Shared thinking
  • Unselfish thinking
  • Bottom line thinking

He also gives you Thinking Questions at the end of each chapter. Each paragraph is jammed with thought provoking ideas. So don't miss out! Get this book for yourself, your family members, your boss, your co-workers, and your acquaintances.

How Successful People Think is a don't miss book!

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Thinking Question:

"Am I working to break out of my "box" of limitations so that I explore ideas and options to experience creative breakthroughs?

Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life andWork
Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life andWork

This was my very first John Maxwell book, and I highly recommend it.


Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work

Basing his latest book on the theory that "successful people think differently than unsuccessful people," Maxwell (author of bestselling The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and Running with the Giants) guides readers on the journey of mastering "good thinking" to achieve their personal and professional potential. Maintaining an encouraging tone and a down-to-earth writing style honed from his more than 30 previous titles, Maxwell details the impact and practical value of 11 kinds of thinking, including reflective, shared, creative, unselfish and big-picture. Useful tips, like how to discover your gifts through focused thinking, ways to break down complex issues with strategic thinking, and how to understand the value of examining the worst-case scenario through realistic thinking, characterize the author's surprisingly concrete lessons. The step-by-step format is bolstered by inspirational quotes, personal insights and high-profile anecdotal evidence about the likes of Priscilla Presley, George Lucas and George Washington Carver. Ending each chapter, emphasizing the discipline needed to think your way to the top, are exercises designed to evaluate and increase your personal progress in each area.

© 2009 Paula Atwell

What is your opinion?

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    • Paula Atwell profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula Atwell 

      5 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Brite I am not fond of business books and inspirational books in general. But I do like most of Maxwell's work. This particular book changed my own thinking a bit.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Paula, I found this review very useful, I'm very much into these books but haven't read this one. I've purchased a few books along these lines for one of my sons as well - honestly I think I'll add this to my holiday list for him


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