Category Archives: change management

49. Failing Forward (John C. Maxwell)


“Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success”

This easy read, leadership book, details how failing forward, making mistakes and learning from these “failures” leads to success. We all know that everyone makes mistakes but it is important to recognize that it is how these obstacles are dealt with that makes all the difference. This author uses recognizable examples to inspire the reader to embrace the learning from mistakes including Amelia Earhart, Einstein, Mozart and George Bernard Shaw.

The book shares the importance of taking responsibility for mistakes, learning from these mistakes and accepting that failure is just part of a process leading to success.  Readers need to understand that failing is not a life event but does provide that opportunity to learn so that past mistakes are not repeated.  It is important to recognize that failure can build momentum and lay the framework for success.

  “Failure is a process.”

Embracing a positive attitude, expecting the best, remaining upbeat in combination with seeking solutions, believing in yourself and  hope are essential skills to dealing with challenges and adversity.  An important lesson is to stop worrying about things that you can’t control. It is also key to not dwell on your own success but to focus on ways to help others (example the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus).  The journey to success includes developing resilience through adversity, which leads to opportunity, motivation and innovation

“To change your world, you must first change yourself”

Maxwell defines qualities for success including excellent people skills, a positive attitude, a good fit, focus, commitment and accepting that change is a “catalyst for growth.” While the book is an easy read, it is quite receptive.  It does have many good examples of well known individuals who have dealt with adversity and become famous success stories.

“Failures are milestones on the success journey. Each time you plan, risk, fail, reevaluate, and adjust, you have another opportunity to begin again, only better than the last time”

For a more in depth synopsis of this book, check out:

(254 e-pages)

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Filed under change management, Leadership