This book strikes a chord for me because I have always believed that people with great talent don’t always achieve the success that they might, and my conclusion had been that they did not work as hard as others. Perhaps their talent made them a little complacent, such that less talented but harder working people beat them out. This book goes much further and identifies 13 factors at play besides talent!
1. Belief. Maxwell identifies a belief in yourself, in your potential and in your mission as major factors in success at whatever your goal might be … regardless of your talent.
2. Passion. I agree that a person with passion makes things happen, can ignite others to follow and will be hard to deflect from a purpose!
3. Initiative. People who succeed are willing to act even if conditions are not perfect, will ignore their natural fears and “go for it”.
4. Focus. People with focus direct all of their energies (talents) to the goal.
5. Preparation. People who prepare well increase their chances of success, where sometime the talented individual may rely upon their natural abilities.
6. Practice. If you study the great athletes they all practice their skills, to improve upon their natural talents. The same can be said of great business leaders.
7. Perseverance. People who lack perseverance will give up too easily, the resilience need to persevere through adversity makes winners.
8. Courage. The courage to face adversity and take risks will take you to great heights.
9. Teachability. This is Maxwell’s word, I might have suggested that humility might have worked here too. Winners are open to learning, will recognise that they can always learn from others. Sometimes talented people have an ego that suggests otherwise.
10. Character. Maxwell suggests that character is composed of four elements: self-discipline, core values, a sense of identity and integrity.
11. Relationships. None of us can accomplish much alone and the relationships that we build might well define the extent of our success.
12. Responsibility. Maxwell suggests that a sense of responsibility is required by all of us and often that is not nurtured. He cites the example of high school athletes whose reckless behaviours might be overlooked because of their importance to a sports team. Hence the talented individual may sometimes not develop a good sense of responsibility.
13. Teamwork. Often the talented individual is not the best team player, yet we all know that it is teams that win in the end.
Maxwell’s book is a good reminder that we are all capable of success, whether we are the most talented or not. It is also a reminder to those with great talent that they need other qualities to have true success.
Enjoy the book! I will also mention Executive Book Summaries, because this is a great way to get a synopsis of business books in 8 pages without committing to buying a book that you may or may not enjoy. Maxwell’s book summary is available through these guys!