Book Review – Talent is Never Enough

While attending a Maximum Impact event at our church back in May, I picked up a copy of John Maxwell’s new book Talent is Never Enough. It’s been a while since I read a “business book” and I must say that I was not disappointed.

I’ve been a little bit turned off by many of the recent business books I’ve browsed to decide whether or not to read. They have all seemed to “rehash” the same concepts. You know … they all say the same thing only with a slightly different slant or perspective. In other words, it’s all the same stuff! This is an unhealthy perspective and not even accurate. Having just finished this book (and now having moved on to the next: The Blogging Church), I can now say that I’ve “snapped out of it!” What was I thinking?

What a great read! Maxwell does an excellent job of describing how a person’s choices affect their talent. He says “everyone has talent” but the choices they make in terms of developing their talent makes the difference between success and failure.

In the book he outlines and develops thirteen different choices a person can make to improve their talent. Here’s a list of the chapter titles:

  1. Belief Lifts Your Talent
  2. Passion Energizes Your Talent
  3. Initiative Activates Your Talent
  4. Focus Directs Your Talent
  5. Preparation Positions Your Talent
  6. Practice Sharpens Your Talent
  7. Perseverance Sustains Your Talent
  8. Courage Tests Your Talent
  9. Teachability Expands Your Talent
  10. Character Protects Your Talent
  11. Relationships Influence Your Talent
  12. Responsibility Strengthens Your Talent
  13. Teamwork Multiplies Your Talent

As I read this book I was struck by how much sense Maxwell was making. I’ve often said, for example, that what one lacks in knowledge or expertise can be made up in enthusiasm and extra effort. Maxwell makes the point that “perseverance means succeeding because you are determined to, not destined to” and that “initiative is often the difference between success and failure.” Words to live by, I would say!

Maxwell also emphasizes the importance of good character on talent. Self-discipline, values, and integrity are among the important aspects of a person’s character. How many examples can you think of where a very talented person failed due to lack of character? Maxwell tells a couple of good stories in the book to illustrate the point.

The stuff on relationships and teamwork was also very good. Maxwell tells the story of the relationship between Johnny Cash and June Carter. Great story! Definitely a good example of the impact a relationship can have on a person’s life.

The book was very practical. At the end of each chapter, Maxwell includes a section called “application exercises.” These sections include four of five questions or exercises the reader can use to think the chapter’s subject through and apply it to their life. Good stuff!

All in all … an excellent read! I highly recommend it!