Thinking for a Change - Blog




Thinking for a Change

From the New York Times bestselling author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and Running with the Giant. 

We’ve all heard “Change your thinking and you change your life” but can we actually learn new mental habits? Thinking for a Change answers that question with a resounding “yes” and then goes on to show us just how changing our thinking can indeed change our life.  

He suggests, as many have done before him, that it our thinking that determines whether or not we succeed in life, and he has gathered powerful examples of ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary things because they were able to change their thinking.

As we strive to change our thinking, telling ourselves three things can help:

  • Change is personal-I need to change
  • Change is possible-I’m able to change
  • Change is profitable-I’ll be rewarded by change.

Most of the educational institutions and much of the training in our world tries to teach people what to think, not how to think, yet Maxwell contends people must learn how to think if they are to reach their potential. 

I prefer to buy books rather than borrow them, because I like highlighting those things I want to reread and to think about.  This book is full of highlights I have already returned to again and again. Anyone who feels in need of a little boost in confidence or a need for renewal will enjoy Thinking for a Change.

Classic: Leading Change by John P. Kotter, Harvard Business School Press, 1996

I bought this book when it was first published in 1996, and it has been a valuable resource for more than seven years now.  Before writing that book, Kotter had spent more than twenty-five years studying organizations that were in the midst of change, and Leading Change distilled what he had learned from that experience. 

 He has seen why organizations fail and why they succeed, and how change agents can light a fire in employees or douse the flames of forward thinking. From these observations he has developed a step-by-step process for creating lasting change. Leading Change is a blueprint for anyone who has been asked to, or who recognizes. the need to make changes in his/her organization.

This is a book about change, yet it is also a book about leadership. Kotter reminds us that leaders are not born that way, they develop their skills through lifelong learning. They are not rocket scientists but they are risk-takers.  They don’t pretend to know it all.  They listen carefully to others before they act.  And if they do fail, as they often do, they learn from the experience and move on. Without question they have developed that ability to think-carefully, creatively and reflectively.