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Failing Forward: How to Make the Most of Your Mistakes [Kindle Edition]

John C. Maxwell
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $8.81
You Save: $7.18 (45%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Christian Publishing


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Book Description

The major difference between achieving people and average people is their perception of and response to failure. John C. Maxwell takes a closer look at failure-and reveals that the secret of moving beyond failure is to use it as a lesson and a stepping-stone. He covers the top reasons people fail and shows how to master fear instead of being mastered by it. Readers will discover that positive benefits can accompany negative experiences-if you have the right attitude. Chock full of action suggestions and real-life stores, Failing Forward is a strategic guide that will help men and women move beyond mistakes to fulfill their potential and achieve success.

Editorial Reviews Review

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

About the Author

John C. Maxwell is an internationally respected leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold more than 19 million books. He is the founder of EQUIP, a non-profit organization that has trained more than 5 million leaders in 126 countries. Read his blog at

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
106 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Use Setbacks to Overcome Your Stalled Thinking April 25, 2000
Failing Forward is one of the best stallbusting books I have ever read! It focuses on how to handle our emotions when things aren't matching up to our expectations. Dr. Maxwell identifies dozens of stalls that delay progress for those who are experiencing setbacks in their lives.
While most people see setbacks as a negative, Dr. Maxwell points out that there is an important lesson that we can use to accomplish more in the future. Building on that appropriate and valuable perspective, Failing Forward postulates 15 principles that can help you apply the lesson.
Each chapter covers a separate principle and is filled with self-diagnostic questions, as well as heart-warming examples of how people went from apparent failure towards great success.
The work is very consistent with the philosophy of Anthony Robbins. If you are a Robbins fan, you will find this book to be a good complement to Unleash the Power Within.
I strongly recommend that you read this book, and reread it the next time you are feeling sorry for yourself or have a setback. If you care about others, be prepared to loan your copy to the next person who looks morose after having a problem.
Dr. Maxwell also offers a self-diagnostic test on the book's Web site ([...] I took that test and found it helpful to cement my understanding of the book. I recommend that you do this as well.
Unlike most books about self-improvement that are scaled to a level of sophistication, this book should appeal both to those with lots of experience and education as well as those who have yet to develop those perspectives.
The only people who will be confused will be those who have yet to experience any significant setbacks. They will wonder what all the fuss is about.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important nook about an important life issue November 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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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars decent stuff here January 9, 2001
Maxwell is a former minister and the founder of a company that offers support services to religious organizations. As such, his book's upbeat, you can do it tone may be off-putting to some. But there's some interesting stuff here and the real life examples he uses of people of have learned from failure provide some good hands-on advice. The book is organized into 15 steps that will help us make the most out of a failure. These are designed to help us 'fail forward.' Some of them include: find the benefit in every bad experience; work on the weaknesses that weaken you; change your response to failure by accepting responsibility. There's not a lot of analysis or depth to Maxwell's observations, but there's enough here in the way of examples to ground his practical observations to make this a useful motivational book.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
The idea behind this book is very original and relevant. We all make mistakes and the exploration of how to learn from those and improve ourselves is a noble task. Maxwell begins well with insightful thoughts on what failure is and is not, how success is born out of failure and how to reframe our perception of our failures. Then the book quickly turns to largely extraneous stories and weak supporting points. The book drags on in this vein for some time. It is not until near the end that things pick back up again. The book ends on a strong note, with practical suggestions of how to "fail forward." This book is worth reading, though be prepared to do some skimming in the middle sections.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Failure is never final January 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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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very motivating August 2, 2000
After a number of recent "failures," I found comfort in John Maxwell's Failing Forward. With fifteen simple steps, Maxwell effectively demonstrates how one can overcome failure and find real success . . . by embracing failure. He shows the reader how there is a bigger picture, and that one must learn from failure. He also teaches that one must de-personalize failure. That can be hard at times, but Maxwell explains that it can be done. Now that I've read this book, I feel more confident in striving to reach my goals . . . even if that means that I encounter failures along the way.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Tons of useful info
So much wisdom and while so basic it really makes you think about how bad you need to want something that you'll never give up until you reach your goal. Read more
Published 6 hours ago by Rexx
5.0 out of 5 stars Failing Forward Impressions
Very good book. Gives one a different and refreshing perspective of "failure" and how it is often an integral part of success. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Even though I knew what it was going to say, I found this to be great reading. It reinforced the fact that failure is not a bad thing, but it's the way we grow.
Published 8 days ago by Dave DeCoursey
5.0 out of 5 stars Mistake Free
Some of the greatest contributions in life have come from people who have made mistakes.
Obtaining anything worthwhile Will require risk. Read more
Published 19 days ago by ACTS 2:4
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Excellent book for handling failure and help understand what to do when experiencing it. More importantly it helps take away the fear of failure and helps you to just get on with... Read more
Published 1 month ago by David Fiona Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read!
John Maxwell explains how to take your mistakes and use them to propel yourself forward instead of allowing them to stop you!
Published 1 month ago by webbmother
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book
I own a copy that I have lent out many times, I have bought this book as a gift, and this was to replace the book that I either let someone borrow or cannot find. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Michelle Schultz
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this edition!!!!
The book is great and definitely worth the read but this edition has so many typos and problems it drove me crazy!! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Reader Rabbit
5.0 out of 5 stars Dear everone: Read this book!
John Maxwell gives you the keys to succeed in your career, your relationships, your finances, your LIFE. Why not read it? ;)
Published 2 months ago by FitnessIsKey
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book... powerful inspiration... clear examples...practical...
This book is a great compass for any person who has a desire to accomplish great things. Take lots of notes!!!
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, coach, and author who has sold over 19 million books. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP and the John Maxwell Company, organizations that have trained more than 5 million leaders worldwide. Every year he speaks to Fortune 500 companies, international government leaders, and organizations as diverse as the United States Military Academy at West Point, the National Football League, and the United Nations. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week best-selling author, Maxwell has written three books which have each sold more than one million copies: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. You can find him at and follow him at

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