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Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

John Maxwell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 10 2007

Are some people born to achieve anything they want while others struggle? Call them lucky, blessed, or possessors of the Midas touch. What is the real reason for their success? Is it family background, wealth, greater opportunities, high morals, an easy childhood?

New York Times best-selling author John C. Maxwell has the answer: The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.

Most people are never prepared to deal with failure. Maxwell says that if you are like him, coming out of school, you feared it, misunderstood it, and ran away from it. But Maxwell has learned to make failure his friend, and he can teach you to do the same.

I want to help you learn how to confidently look the prospect of failure in the eye and move forward anyway, says Maxwell. Because in life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with them. Stop failing backward and start failing forward!

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The author of 24 books on maximizing personal and leadership potential, John C. Maxwell believes "the difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure." In Failing Forward, he offers inspirational advice for turning the difficulties that inevitably arise in life into stepping stones that help you reach the top. Noting that star performers are often those who aggressively push forward after encountering adversity, Maxwell shows how a variety of well-known and not-so-well-known people have forged ahead despite obstacles that could have derailed them. They include: Mary Kay Ash, who founded her cosmetics firm against enormous odds when the direct-sales company she toiled in for 25 years resisted her continued corporate climb; Truett Cathy, who lost two brothers (and business partners) in an airplane crash and experienced his own serious medical problems before establishing the Chick-fil-A fast-food chain; Greg Horn, who reopened his Kentucky grocery store just 21 days after it suffered $1 million in flood damage; and Beck Weathers, who lost his nose, half of one arm, and the fingers on his other in the infamous 1996 Into Thin Air Mt. Everest tragedy, but now takes a positive message of survival and conquest to audiences around the world. --Howard Rothman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John C. Maxwell is an internationally renowned leadership expert, coach, and author with more than 22 million books sold. Dr. Maxwell founded the John Maxwell Company, the John Maxwell Team, and EQUIP, organizations that have trained more than 5 million leaders in 185 countries. Read his blog at He lives in Atlanta.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Failure is never final Jan. 1 2004
By A Customer
This was is my first book by Maxwell, but it won't be my last. Maxwell mixes scriptures along with success principles and tells us that failure is never final. It's not how many times you fall, it's how many times you get back up and how much you learn from it.
Some people have called this a hookie-pookie superficial feel good book. I strongly disagree, except that I can do more by feeling good than by feeling lousy.
Maxwell is excellent. His words will inspire you but more than that, his words, when followed will instruct you as well.
Outstanding book. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be taught in high school March 6 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I wish I had learned this in high school. If I had only learned from the failures of my past earlier. Now I can go back and see what I can learn NOW.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Failure is never final nor fatal March 27 2014
John Maxwell is my favorite author and this book is one of his many classics. In this book John puts a spin on failure to help you as the reader overcome any failure you may face in life. The book is loaded with some incredible advice and some real stories that will inspire you to never give up. With one of his many profound quotes John tells you that you are not a failure, you failed at doing something, there's a big difference! By the end of the book Maxwell gives the reader fifteen steps for failing forward, for example, "work on the weakness that weakens you", "If at first you do succeed, try something harder". From the first page to the very last page of this book you will gain something at every turn. Maxwell's books are the biggest part of my library and is a very worthwhile collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great motivator March 6 2014
By Cheryl
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book for anyone looking to take a big step in their life, personal or business. You will be shown the steps on what failure can do for you and not be afraid to take big steps and dream big because the outcome will bring you closer to your goals, even if the outcome is failure.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Review March 3 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Nice CD; a lot of suggestions adding to personal experience. Will also be good to re-listen in a couple of months.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars John Fails Well Aug. 26 2000
By A Customer
Have you ever been pressed to meet a writing assignment deadline and you just didn't have the required length written on paper? What did you do? Did you stay up late probing the deepest depths of your soul to fulfill your educational committment? No, you got busy playing with the font, the margins and the spacing to make it LOOK like you'd done the assignment. It won't take you long to notice that Mr. Maxwell must have been operating under the same constraints. The book, which is barely 200 pages long, makes generous use of white space and uninteresting quote boxes.
More to the content of the book... I am all about saying things succinctly, but this guy isn't saying anything. "Failing Forward" is a masterful attempt at creating a bound work that can, at best, help the author make the downpayment on his next house. Thought was in short supply during this writing as he mostly focuses on trite parental counsel, "Don't let failure make a monkey out of you." "You're too old to cry, but it hurts too much to laugh." "Generous people are rarely mentally ill people." Keep in mind that these are the quotes that, in the author's opinion, are worthy of a coveted quote box.
I had high hopes that I could have gained a new and healthy perspective on the failure I sometimes encounter. Instead, I find myself disappointed that I didn't save the sales receipt for this insipid book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Failure is Your Stepping Stone to Success! April 10 2004
John C. Maxwell brings a gift to all who have ever felt like a "failure" by the extraordinary examples of some of the greatest people that have achieved outstanding success, only to attribute that to their prior so-called "failures."
This book will help you USE the lessons you can learn from your experience. One of the most important aspects of this book is to NOT PERSONALIZE the experience, and take it into the core of your being, The KEY is to take "you" out of the failure, and look at it as another outward experience that will teach you much. It is most often that our deepest struggles are the very foundations for our greatest growths and triumphs. This book sets a model of clean ethics, taking responsibility, being PASSIONATE about what you are doing, because without passion, you might as well just stop - because passion is the driving force behind every success.
If you have been through the mill, and want to really be inspired about your experiences from some of the greatest people who have brought inspiration to others, then this book will give that to you. An excellent book for turning failure into genuine success. 10 Stars!
Barbara Rose, author of 'Individual Power' and 'If God Was Like Man'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important nook about an important life issue Nov. 14 2003
By A Customer
John Maxwell does a marvellous job of helping people to work through failure and move on. I am 53 years old and was recently laid off by an employer who told me that I was the best employee he had. I felt betrayed and would wake up every morning thinking of ways to get even (even though I knew I wouldn't act on them.) I was really hurt and couldn't get over it. A friend of mine suggested I read two books. The first one she recommended was this one and it really helped me to put things into perspective. Instead of moping around the house, I started looking through the papers and making calls to get job interviews. Yes, it got me going! The other book my friend recommended was Optimal Thinking: How To Be Your Best Self which helped me to understand that every situation (even a a situation I don't like) is an opportunity to be my best, and it showed me how to make the most of any situation. With books like these in the world, we never have to be stuck and we can really make the most of our lives.
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