Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Review - Put Your Dream to the Test

"It's one thing to have a dream. It's another to do the things needed to achieve it" - that's the premise behind John Maxwell's latest book "Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions That Will Help You See It and Seize It" (which I just read as part of Thomas Nelson's blogger review program) Maxwell doesn't try to tell you the right answers, but instead delivers ten great questions that really should be considered by anyone with a dream. The book is full of stories and inspiration that affirm the message - the passion of Bob Taylor for guitars, the tenacity of Elizabeth Keckly rising up from slave to friend of the White House, and the fulfillment of Wilbur Wilberforce's amazing dream.

The ten questions involve: ownership, clarity, reality, passion, pathway, people, cost, tenacity, fulfillment, and significance. In each case Maxwell covers vital issues a leader needs to work through if the dream is going to become realized. For example, in discussing the fulfillment question, he asks "Does Working toward My Dream Bring Satisfaction?"  Maxwell references Seth Godin's book, 'The Dip', that chasm between embarking on a dream and the first sign of significant results. Realizing how tough the obstacles, learning curve, and hard work will be, it's critical to have a strong sense of fulfillment or satisfaction along the way. Each chapter ends with the challenge: "Can you answer 'Yes' to this question?" Fortunately, he also walks through several important follow-up questions if that answer is currently a 'No'.

I didn't know what to expect in this book, as I'm not an entrepreneur or CEO, or someone with a single 'lightning-bolt from the sky' dream. And yet the more I read, the more I saw how the questions discussed are relevant for any leader. And on that subject, John has a lot of great things to say. The chapters on clarity and vision, passion, people, and significance were particularly good. Maxwell concludes it's not good enough to do well in just one or two of these areas. Being able to answer 'Yes' to as many questions as possible will improve the chance of success greatly.

For anyone with a big dream, and wondering if or how it can be done, this is an excellent book. It will change the way you look at your dreams, in a good way.

The book is available at Amazon or other book retailers. By the way, if you have a Kindle device (including the iPhone Kindle app), 'Put Your Dream to the Test' is available for the Kindle as a free download from April 6th through April 9th.

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