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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Talent is Never Enough.

John C. Maxwell has a wonderful book entitled, Talent is Never Enough. Maxwell outlines thirteen characteristics which must be coupled with intelligence and talent in order to reach long-term success.

Belief. Passion. Initiative. Focus. Preparation. Practice. Perserverance. Courage. Teachability. Character. Relationships. Responsibility. Teamwork.

"You see, people who neglect to make the right choices to release and maximize their talent continually underperform. Their talent allows them to stand out, but their wrong choices make them sit down. Their friends, families, coaches and bosses see their giftedness, but they wonder why they so often come up short of expectations. Their talent gives them oppotunity, but their wrong choices shut the door. Talent is a given, but you must earn success."

Ironically, there is a difference between underperformance and failure. Failure is actually a crucial part of long-term success. Underperformance is not. Maxwell mentions, "there are two kinds of people in this world: those who want to get things done and those who don't want to make mistakes." Believe in your talent. Passionately persue your talents. Initiate your dreams. And then learn from your mistakes.

"One of the paradoxes of life is that the things that initially make you sucessful are rarely the things that keep you successful." This sentence is the premise and outline, the underlying message that sows the bound book together. Focus on your stregnths, never mistake fear for lack of preparation, practice, no rehearse each day as if it is your only opportunity.

The most important section of Talent is Never Enough, is probably the section on Teachability. Too often talent comes with egos, and egos equipt with pride. Egoism and pride are often the strongest bariers to success. If a person can humble herself to learn from every person in their life, every circumstance of their condition, and every relationship, then one will find the people, the situations and the relationships that will help them build each of the 12 other characteristics of the talented success.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
I have just finished one of the greatest books written for people with talent by John Maxwell. "Talent is never enough." I want to encourage all of you to read this book. This has been one of the best reads of my life. Here is a great quote and then a summary of the 13 areas that add to our talent.

I challenge each of you to do this exercise, it will build the team you are a part of. "For the next two weeks, make a commitment to yourself to take no credit for anything that goes right. Praise your employees, co-workers, colleagues, and family members for their contributions. Note the difference it makes in their performance and your relationship with them. I believe that once you've tired it, you will enjoy giving the credit away so much that it will become a regular part of your life."

1. Belief lifts my talent.
2. Passion energizes my talent.
3. Initiative activates my talent
4. Focus directs my talent.
5. Preparation positions my talent.
6. Practice sharpens my talent.
7. Perseverance sustains my talent.
8. Courage tests my talent.
9. Teachability expands my talent.
10. Character protects my talent.
11. Relationships influence my talent.
12. Responsibility strengthens my talent.
13. Teamwork multiplies my talent.

As a team, my hope is that we can help each other grow to new heights daily. Adopt one of these and work on them daily. For me, courage and Perseverance have been a weakness of mine, however, after reading this book I feel like these two weaknesses will turn into great strengths.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2009
This book explains that having talent is not enough to be successful. You must work hard to develop your talent in order to become successful. The author outlines 13 factors to maximize a person's talent. They are:

1. Beliefs lifts you talent. When people believe in themselves, they unleash power in themselves that could allow them to reach their potentials.

2. Passion energizes your talent. Passion creates fire, provide fuel and sustain your energy. Passion allows you to carry on no matters how many times you fall down or how other people say that you cannot succeed.

3. Initiative activates your talent. You don't wait for everything to be perfect to move forward. You don't wait for the problem to disappear. You don't wait to gain your confidence or fear to subside. You start by taking the first step and things will get easier when you get momentum.

4. Focus directs your talent. Focus channels your energy to the right place. We should focus on developing our potential. We should focus on the present. We should focus on our strength, not our weaknesses. We should focus on the result to stay grounded. We should focus on the present and not worry about the future.

5. Preparation positions your talent. Preparation precedes opportunity. Preparation for tomorrow begins with the right use of today. Good preparation leads into action. Preparation allows you to position yourself when opportunity arises.

6. Practice sharpens your talent. Consistent practice sharpens your talent. Practice make perfect. Practice requires us to make the extra effort that differentiates us from success with failure. You can never arrive at your talent; you can only continue to strive towards it.

7. Perseverance sustains your talent. Talent provides hope for reaching your potential, but perseverance guarantees it. Perseverance cannot survive without a purpose. Perseverance means succeeding because you are determined to, not destined to. Perseverance recognizes life is not a long race, but many short ones in succession. Perseverance draws sweetness out of adversity. Perseverance means stopping not because we're tired but because the task is done. Perseverance demands all that we have.

8. Courage tests your talent. Courage is a daily virtue. You cannot do anything worthwhile without courage. Our courage will be tested as we seek a truth that we know may be painful. Our courage will be tested when change is needed, when our convictions are challenged and when learning and growing will display our weakness. Our courage will be tested when we face obstacles during our progress. You need to want to reach your potential and be willing to trade what seems good at the moment for what's best for your potential.

9. Teachability expands your talent. It is the desire to learn, unlearn, relearn and apply. You will expand if you keep expecting and striving to learn. Learning is a lifelong pursuit.

10. Character protects your talent. Character comprises of self discipline, core values, sense of identity and integrity. Character builds what's inside you. Character makes a difference in you. Character communicates consistency, longevity and influence. Character affects and influences your choice.

11. Relationships influence your talent. Surround yourself with people who add value to you and encourage you and your talent will go in a positive direction. The relationship in your life can make or break you. You should embrace relationship that expands your energy and avoid relationship that saps your energy. Your relationship will define you, so choose wisely.

12. Responsibility strengthens your talent. Responsibility is the foundation of success. It is a sacrifice that brings tremendous rewards. Responsibility when handled correctly will lead to more responsibilities. It will maximize your ability and expands your opportunity. Take responsibility of being a contributor instead of a liability. Responsible people enjoy an increasingly better reputation.

13. Teamwork multiplies your talent. You cannot do it alone to fulfill your dreams. Partner yourself with others who have strengths in those areas that you do not posses. Teamwork when done correctly has the compounding effect of achieving results. It will also expand your potential. If you think and achieve as a team, the individual accolades will take care of themselves. A talented person who is part of a right team becomes more than he ever could on his own.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
John Maxwell has been the author of many self help books, allot of which I have read. Contrary to what the title may imply, this is not a book that disses talent but rather how to make it stand out. It doesn't matter what you talent is (he states that we all a particular talent) computers, art, writing, dealing with difficult people or whatever John is very motivating in helping us to understand why our talent alone is not enough and what we can do to stand out without having to sit back down.

In this book he describes the 12 [laws] of making your talent a success. None of this is rocket science but merely common sense that we as busy people have a tendancy to forget about or simply ignore.

Reading this book along with the likes of The Secret (Rhonda Byrne) or Failing Forward: How to Make the Most of Your Mistakes (John Maxwell) has made for a significant change in my life for the better. I feel better about who I am and as John states in this book the type of person that I want to be.

Do you want to be a better person or stand out in a sea of talent? Then use this book as an aid to reaching your success.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I have read and then reviewed most of John Maxwell's previously published books and on occasion I became concerned that he was merely recycling some of the same core concepts he first examined years ago. In this volume, he asserts that "talent is never enough." If it were, "then the most effective and influential people would always be the most talented ones but that is often not the case...Clearly talent isn't everything." That said, he hastens to add, talent is worthy off our admiration and must be perceived in the proper perspective. For Maxwell, it is "a God-given gift." For others who do not share his faith, it is nonetheless usually referred to as a "natural" as opposed to an acquired capability. All human beings possess talent but differ in terms of number, nature, and extent of what Maxwell calls "giftedness." The challenge is to maximize one's talents. In this context, I am reminded of Darrell Royal's suggestion that "potential" means "you ain't done it yet."

Maxwell has identified thirteen key choices that can be made to maximize one's talent. None is a head-snapping revelation, nor does he make any such claim. "Make these choices, and you can become a talent-plus person. If you have talent, you stand alone. If you have talent plus, you stand out." He devotes a separate chapter to each of the thirteen. Once again, as in most of his earlier works, he includes a number of especially apt quotations from what must be a substantial collection of what he has accumulated from various sources thus far. He also includes at the conclusion of each chapter a set of "Application Exercises." Maxwell fully understands that sustaining self-improvement initiatives involves a process, an extended journey, one that requires a compass, a map, and sufficient resources once begun. He is convinced (and I agree) that specificity is imperative: Goals must be written down, frequently reviewed, and when appropriate revised. Self-improvement must be results-driven. And, more often than not, improvement will be incremental. Maxwell insists that "belief lifts talent." Henry Ford once spoke to the same point when pointing out that "whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." Without faith in what is possible, why bother?

Passion energizes talent, initiative activates it, focus gives it direction, preparation positions talent properly, practices sharpens it, perseverance sustains it....and so the list of choices continues. Maxwell's key point is that all of us have a choice, actually several choices, and can determine to what extent (if any) we take full advantage of the talents we have, such as they are. He concluded with "The Last Word on Talent" (Pages 273-275), once again urging his reader to become a talent-plus person. "If you do, you will add value to yourself, add value to others, and accomplish much more than you dreamed was possible." Earlier, I expressed my concern that Maxwell would sometimes recycle some of his core concepts about leadership and human development, notably in works such as The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization. That does not happen in this book. To me, this is his most personal book thus far...even more so than is Leadership Gold: Lessons I've Learned from a Lifetime of Leading which I consider to be his most valuable work thus far.

Those who share my high regard for Talent Is Never Enough are urged to check out Geoff Colvin's Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else. Colvin set out to answer this question: "What does great performance require?" In this volume, he shares several insights generated by hundreds of research studies whose major conclusions offer what seem to be several counterintuitive perspectives on what is frequently referred to as "talent." In this context, I am reminded of Thomas Edison's observation that "vision without execution is hallucination." If Colvin were asked to paraphrase that to indicate his own purposes in this book, my guess (only a guess) is that his response would be, "Talent without deliberate practice is latent." In other words, there would be no great performances in any field (e.g. business, theatre, dance, symphonic music, athletics, science, mathematics, entertainment, exploration) without those who have, through deliberate practice developed the requisite abilities.

Colvin leaves no doubt that by understanding how a few become great, anyone can become better...and that includes his reader. This reader is now convinced that talent is a process that "grows," not a pre-determined set of skills. Also, that deliberate practice "hurts but it works." It would be "tragically constraining," Colvin asserts, for anyone to lack sufficient self-confidence because "what the evidence shouts most loudly is striking, liberating news: That great performance is not reserved for a preordained few. It is available to you and to everyone." I urge those who read this brief commentary to read both Colvin's book and Maxwell's. Each is a singular, brilliant achievement.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2009
Catch 22.

I have to say, I'm a little ambivalent about recommending this work.

Yes, this book has lots of great stuff to say. But... if you're the type of person who enjoys these kinds of books then you've already got a success library which contains virtually everything within the covers of this one.

Don't mean to sound harsh, but the author's not breaking any new ground here. Many of the pithy quotes peppered throughout the book, though apropos, have been liberally used throughout the years.

If you are younger and haven't been exposed to a lot of this type of literature, then I highly recommend this book. It's brimming with great advice on how to maximize your capabilities.

My initial unease regarding the originality of this work was confirmed on page 198, when the author wrote, "One person I most admire is John Wooden, the Hall of Fame former coach of UCLA's basketball team..."

Me too. And since I've devoured all of Wooden's books, I've already seen virtually all of this before.

Of course, if you do have a huge success library, then this stuff is like oxygen to your soul, so by all means add this book and breathe deeply.

I did really love some of the quotes I hadn't seen before, such as this one from the intro.

"You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose."

-Dr. Seuss
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
While the media likes to portray success as effortless, the reality is far different. Blood, sweat, and tears often accompany accomplishment.

Dr. Maxwell does two unexpected things in this book that make it a valuable contribution to the success literature:

1. He points out that you may not know what your areas of greatest talent are and provides way to check out your thinking.

2. He provides many examples that powerfully reinforce the point that it's hard to succeed without talent . . . or without developing a potential talent. The negative examples are very telling and powerful.

He also does one expected thing that's very helpful: He encourages you to test your thinking with those who know you well. It's hard to see yourself objectively so that's very good advice.

Once you have focused in on an area where you have potential to develop talent, he offers 13 principles to emphasize which I have rephrased below:

1. Believe you will succeed.
2. Pursue your passions with your talent.
3. Take action rather than wait for the right moment.
4. Be focused.
5. Continually practice and improve.
6. Be prepared for the challenge before using your talent.
7. Never give up.
8. Build and rely on courage in facing challenges.
9. Be open to suggestions.
10. Honor what's right.
11. Build relationships with those you love, those you want to serve, and those whose help you need.
12. Be responsible in employing your talent.
13. Be a good team player.

The most useful parts of the book come in the application exercises that accompany each of the 13 points. If you didn't read the book but did those exercises, you would gain most of the benefit of this book. So do those exercises!

Bravo, Dr. Maxwell.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I found the book well written and enjoyable, if you are new to this type of self help leadership literature then the book is very useful. It has common sense ideas and is very practical.

The only caution I would add is this: All successful people probably exhibit the types of behaviours suggested in this book, but there are probably many unsuccessful people who exhibit these same behaviours who for one reason or another have not been lucky.

After all, success happens when opportunity meets preparation. Read the book and get at least half of that equation right.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2011
I'm extremely disappointed. John C. Maxwell is one of my favorite writers and speakers. When I saw that he had a new book out, I jumped at the chance to review it. I have nearly everything he has written, and when I saw the title of this book, I imagined that this was a companion book to his 2007 book, "Talent is Never Enough." This seemed a natural assumption, as he has written companion books for several of his earlier best sellers.

Unfortunately, this was not the case..."Beyond Talent" is simply a re-named and re-released paperback version of "Talent is Never Enough." Everything is the same, including the Dedication to his grandson, and the book description on the back cover. I can only imagine the "Talent is Never Enough" did not do well enough by Maxwell's standards, so the publisher decided to re-brand it and give it another shot.

I will say this: I enjoyed the book when I first read it back in 2007. The idea that talent is not enough to rise to the top is a thoughtful one, and Maxwell brings attention to other interesting qualities that will supplement talent, such as: Passion, Initiative, Focus, Perseverance, Character, and Preparation, to name several.

But I just cannot get past the fact that he is re-releasing books that came out just four years ago. He always talks about how he is learning new things every day and has all these books in his head that he wants to write. Sadly, it reminds me of a baseball pitcher who has lost something off his fastball.

If you have not read "Talent is Never Enough," this is a worthy read. But for those of us who faithfully read leadership and management books like this one, it was disappointing to learning nothing new. I give it 3 stars, only because the original book was useful to me.

Thomas Nelson Publishers gave me a free copy of this book in exchange for my (obviously) unbiased review.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Dr. John C. Maxwell is America's #1 leadership expert according to Harvard University and when you read through this book you will see why so many leaders count on the insight and wisdom of this gifted teacher. In "Talent is never enough" you will learn to move past your fears and move toward your gifting to achieve greater success.

I've seen many talented people fail because they didn't have a coach to guide them toward reaching their potential. You already have natural talent, because everyone does, however, with John as your personal 'success coach' you will learn to leverage your talent to build on your strengths and experience greater results in every area of life. If you want to move past simply talking about your potential to actually living it, then this is the book for you.
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