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How Successful People Think

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

By John C. Maxwell
12-minute read
Audio available
How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life by John C. Maxwell

How Successful People Think (2009) argues that success is about attitude. More than just staying positive, John C. Maxwell suggests that if you want to make it, it’s time to start thinking realistically and empathetically. Full of fascinating historical examples and practical advice gleaned from today’s most successful people, this detailed roadmap will help you achieve your goals while avoiding the most common mental pitfalls.

  • Those interested in organizational psychology
  • Leaders and businesspeople
  • People looking for a fresh perspective on success

John C. Maxwell is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers and has sold over 24 million copies of his books in fifty languages. He is widely regarded as America’s top authority on leadership. Maxwell is also the founder of EQUIP – a coaching organization that has helped over five million leaders around the world achieve their full potential.

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How Successful People Think

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

By John C. Maxwell
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life by John C. Maxwell
Synopsis

How Successful People Think (2009) argues that success is about attitude. More than just staying positive, John C. Maxwell suggests that if you want to make it, it’s time to start thinking realistically and empathetically. Full of fascinating historical examples and practical advice gleaned from today’s most successful people, this detailed roadmap will help you achieve your goals while avoiding the most common mental pitfalls.

Key idea 1 of 7

Big picture thinkers are constantly learning and know how to empathize with others.

General Electric CEO Jack Welch regularly tells his employees that existing relationships with clients are more important than individual sales. Why? Because he knows that, when it comes to being successful in the long run, it’s sometimes necessary to leave the nitty-gritty behind for a moment and consider the bigger picture.

But how can you start cultivating big picture thinking? By making sure you’re always learning.

Big picture thinkers are always looking for opportunities to learn. They’re constantly on the go, visiting new places, meeting new people and honing new skills.

The author has a handy technique that puts him in the right mindset to do that: he starts his day by looking at his schedule and asking himself what learning opportunities are likely to present themselves.

Once he’s noted down the activities that are most likely to teach him something, he mentally primes himself to be on high alert. That means he’s much more likely to be receptive to what’s going on around him.

So when he once had dinner with National Football League (NFL) coach Dave Wannstedt, for instance, he was well prepared. He used the time to ask him all sorts of questions about teamwork and left the restaurant brimming with new insights.

That’s something you can take up too: spend a couple of minutes each morning looking over your itinerary and ask yourself what opportunities to learn new things you’re likely to encounter.

Making an effort to become a big picture thinker is important because it gives you a window into how other people see the world. In other words, it makes you more empathetic.

And that’s good for your relationships: whether it’s your clients, husband or wife, children or friends, empathizing with those around you will help you understand what they want and need.

Seeing the big picture ultimately helps you think beyond your own narrow interests and take those of others into account.

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