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Book Review: Talent is Never Enough by John Maxwell

Sergio Alderuccio

Dr. John Maxwell is an international authority on Leadership. Inc Magazine chose him as the best leadership expert in the world. Maxwell’s numerous books have sold around 20 million copies.

Maxwell contends that the choices people make, and not merely the skills they inherit, shape their success. “It’s what you add to your talent that makes the greatest difference.”

Talent is often overrated or misunderstood. According to internationally renowned management expert, Peter Drucker, there is little correlation between a person’s intelligence and their effectiveness. This seems to be supported by the revelation that more than 50% of Fortune 500 CEOs had a C or C- average in college.

You may think that your talent gives you the edge, but that is not the case. Everybody has their own strengths, and to stand out, you/we really need to find a way to maximize your/our potential.  

Maxwell presents thirteen attributes you need to maximise your potential and realise your dreams.

 First of all, confidence and passion. Then, initiative, focus, preparation, practice, and teachability. However, you also need to work on your perseverance and courage, while never forgetting to develop your character, and relationships.

After Edmund Hillary’s unsuccessful attempt to reach the summit of Mt. Everest he turned to an image of Mt. Everest and said, “You have defeated us. But l will return, and l will defeat you, because you cannot get any bigger, and l can”

  1. Belief– is the difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing.
  2. Passion– dream big, no idea is too outrageous. Passion energises your talent.
  3. Initiative– nothing will happen if you don’t actually do anything.
  4. Focus– directs your talent. A scatter gun approach dilutes your effectiveness.
  5. Preparation- your success is determined by your ability to prepare.

“The time to repair your roof is when the sun is shining.” John Kennedy

The success of many expeditions was determined by the extensive preparation.

  • Practice- Practice delivers continual improvement.

Professional athletes don’t rely on their innate talent alone, they practice daily.

  • Perseverance– Thomas Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realise how close they were to success when they gave up.”
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