Book Reviews

Book Review: Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn by John Maxwell

November 16, 2013

maxwell book

John Maxwell is the consummate guru of leadership, hands down.   His influence is felt wherever leadership is required.  From the church world, to the corporate world, to the sport worlds, to the world at large, anyone who is anyone has probably read a book by Maxwell.

I have read all of his material; and rarely does he disappoint.  Maxwell is practical, honest, simple, and just plain interesting.  He keeps my attention with his sensible insight, provocative storytelling, and biblical principles.  His point is always given in candid and sometimes comical style.

To me, he is at his best when he deals with personal growth and leadership development.  His latest book, Sometimes You When Sometimes You Learn, is a case in point.  One of the reasons so many people connect with John Maxwell’s content is because he teaches from his own mistakes.  Perfection, pomposity, and grandiosity are very difficult to relate with.  Most people connect more with failures, mistakes, and mishaps.  This book was written with the intent  to not only inform, but to inspire. He gives hope to his readers, and hope is a very powerful force for those who have struggled with failure in leadership.

In Sometimes You Win Sometimes You Learn, you will discover the value of “not winning.”  I say, “not winning” because “losing” is off the table.  Those who learn from their losses actually win, at least at some point.  This is the premise of the book.  From our losses we gain insight that would have never been attained without the experience of defeat.  For Maxwell, every mistake and loss is grounds for growth and development.

This book will not disappoint if you are genuinely a life-learner.  If you already know everything, you’ll want to pass this one up.


Favorite Quotes:

“Everyone experiences adversity.  Some are made humble by it.  Some are made hard.”


“Humility allows us to regain perspective and see the big picture.  It makes us realize that while we may be in the picture, we are not the entire picture.”


“It’s easier to go from failure to success than it is to go from excuses to success”


“Most people spend their entire lives on a fantasy island called ‘Someday I’ll’”


“You create opportunities by looking trouble in the eye and performing, not looking away and pretending”


“Sign your work at the end of each day.  If you can’t do that, find a new profession”


“You need more than a great mind for learning.  You need a great heart for learning.  That’s what a teachable spirit gives you.”


“Mistakes are painful when they happen, but years later a collection of mistakes is what is called experience.”


“To know who you are becoming requires you not only to know where you are now but also to know where you are going and how you need to change to get there.”


“I don’t think God is as interested in our success as He is in our maturity”


“The only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the difference of their habits”


“Some people hit a milestone, and they make it a tombstone”


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