Failing Forward Book Summary - Failing Forward Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Failing Forward summary

John C. Maxwell

Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones For Success

4.6 (186 ratings)
14 mins
Table of Contents

    Failing Forward
    Summary of 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    Failure can’t be avoided, so think of it as a critical part of moving forward.

    While most of us do our best to avoid failure, most entrepreneurs know better. The majority of successful businesspeople attribute their success to their ability to persevere after failures. In fact, it takes entrepreneurs an average of 3.8 failed ventures before they manage to start a successful business.

    These entrepreneurs recognize that even if their business eventually fails, they’ll be in a better position than they were when they started. But if their fear of failure had stopped them at the beginning, they wouldn’t have gotten anywhere.

    In the real world, a single failure doesn’t always mean the end of the road. Take Sergio Zyman, a marketing executive for Coca-Cola in the 1980s. When Zyman launched the new Diet Coke range, it was hugely popular.

    This success bolstered Zyman’s standing in the company and gave him more confidence in his daring ideas. So later, when Coca-Cola wanted to introduce a new formula for Coke, Zyman proposed to introduce it under the name “New Coke.” Zyman believed the new idea would sell so well that he convinced Coca-Cola to stop producing the old version.

    To Zyman’s surprise, New Coke was a complete flop. The rebranded bottles failed to sell, costing Coca-Cola approximately $100 million, and Zyman his job. To recover from this blow, Coca-Cola reintroduced their flagship drink under a new name: Coca-Cola Classic.

    As it turned out, Coca-Cola Classic was a huge hit. The drink became more popular than ever, and Zyman’s failure to transform the brand in the first instance ended up leading to a great success for the company in the long run. In 1993, Coca-Cola chairman Roberto Goizueta rehired Zyman, acknowledging that daring thinkers can’t be right every time.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Failing Forward?

    Key ideas in Failing Forward

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Failing Forward about?

    Failing Forward (2000) provides a positive perspective on failure. These blinks draw on legendary success stories and literary anecdotes to explain the importance of failure, the advantages of embracing it and the power of leveraging your mistakes to stimulate personal growth.

    Best quote from Failing Forward

    Your attitude toward failure determines your altitude after failure.

    —John C. Maxwell
    example alt text

    Who should read Failing Forward?

    • Creative professionals struggling to take risks in their work
    • Perfectionists looking for new ways to accept and interpret their mistakes
    • Ambitious readers curious about the role of failure in success

    About the Author

    John C. Maxwell is a professional leadership trainer, author and speaker. He wrote several best-selling books on leadership and founded a string of companies teaching organizational development.

    Categories with Failing Forward

    Books like Failing Forward

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    28 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial