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Change Your World: How Anyone, Anywhere Can Make A Difference (Book Summary)

Updated: May 3, 2023


As I read books, I provide myself with a short book summary and relevant book notes for future reference. Others have asked about me sharing those notes in the past. So....here you go.


Here's my book summary of Change Your World by John Maxwell and Rob Hoskins.


Book Summary of Change Your World

Book in a Sentence

I thought the concepts in the book were easy to understand and grasp, but it took the long route to get to the four-phased approach for the transformation model the authors posit in the book.


Key Insights

1. Maxwell and Hoskins encourage the reader to make a difference right now in his/her community and change his/her community in collaboration with others.

2. Transformation is possible for anyone willing to learn and live good values, value people, and collaborate with others to create a positive values culture.

3. Movement-making takes strong leadership, coalition building,


My Rating

6/10

 

Book Notes

 

Good quote on hope from Augustine:

Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are. —AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 2). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Homelessness statistics:

In 2014 about 2.5 million children experienced homelessness in the United States.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 5). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Chinese proverb:

Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “If we don’t change the direction we’re going, we are likely to end up where we are headed.”


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 8). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Thesis of the book:

Transformation is possible for anyone willing to learn and live good values, value people, and collaborate with others to create a positive values culture.

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 9). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Good illustration using a nine-dot "box":

Here’s the challenge: find a way to connect all nine dots using four straight lines without lifting your pen or pencil from the paper.Solution: Draw the lines outside of the box.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 10). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Bad thing about assumptions:

The assumptions we make often restrict our thinking and therefore restrict or possibilities.

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 11). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Jonathan Sacks Quote on optimism and hope:

"Optimism is the belief that things will be better. Hope is the faith that, together, we can make things better. Optimism is a passive virtue; hope, an active one."

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 12). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Instances when people change:

1. People Change When They Hurt Enough That They Have To

2. People Change When They See Enough That They Are Inspired To

3. People Change When They Learn Enough That They Want To

4. People Change When They Receive Enough That They Are Able To


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (pp. 14-15). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

How does urgency work:

1. Urgency starts within.

2. Urgency feeds desire. When you harness your hope and tap into a sense of urgency for change, it only increases your desire to see that change come about.

3. Urgency inspires courage.

4. Urgency calls for action.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (pp. 21-22). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Illustration (boy and the starfish):

The gist of the story is that a man walks along the beach one morning after a storm has washed thousands of starfish ashore. As the man walks, he sees a boy at a distance stooping down and doing something. When he gets closer, the man realizes that the boy is picking up starfish, one by one, and throwing them back into the water. Surprised by the boy’s action, the man says to him, “There are thousands of starfish stranded as far as the eye can see. What possible difference can it make?” The boy holds up a starfish he just picked up and looks at it for a moment. Then he tosses it into the sea and replies, “It makes a difference for this one.”

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 22). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Don't wait to change the world:

The people who change the world are those who want to and don’t wait to.

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 23). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Turn back (Turkish proverb):

A Turkish proverb says, “No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back.”


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 25). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

People crazy enough to think they can change the world:

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are usually the ones who do. —STEVE JOBS


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 32). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Authors' definition of catalyst:

A person who creates positive change in their world through their ideas, actions, and influence.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 32). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Everyone has a change the world speech inside them:

When President John F. Kennedy launched the Peace Corps, he said that everyone has a change-the-world speech inside them.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 37). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Where "strike while the iron is hot" came from:

The phrase “strike while the iron is hot” comes from the blacksmithing trade. Metalworkers understand that timing is crucial if they want to successfully manipulate metal. Steel, for instance, needs to be at the optimum temperature to be able to work it. If the metal is cold, it won’t move at all when struck with a hammer. If it’s not heated enough, even a lot of hammering will make only the smallest of changes. On the other hand, if the metal is too hot, it can melt, rendering it worthless. There is a very short window of a few seconds when the steel’s temperature is just right. The smith must strike quickly, because the metal doesn’t stay at the perfect temperature for very long.

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 39). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Creating ripples quote from Mother Teresa:

Mother Teresa said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 39). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Truths that lead to transformation:

1. We is more than me

2. Who is more important than how

3. What unites us is greater than what divides us

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 62). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Teamwork analogy:

Have you ever watched a rowing team work together? In the largest boats, called sculls, eight athletes row in unison, with a coxswain in the stern of the boat steering and calling out the cadence of their strokes. These teams can only succeed if they work together. In my early days of leadership, I was gathering people to fill every seat of the boat, but only a couple of us were rowing. The rest were just sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying the ride.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (pp. 65-66). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Rocky Balboa and gaps illustration:

I like the way Rocky Balboa in the Academy Award–winning movie Rocky expresses this idea. Talking about Adrian, his girlfriend, he said, “She’s got gaps, I got gaps, together we fill gaps.”


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 73). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Cooperation vs. Collaboration:

Cooperation is unity for the sake of unity. Cooperation says, “Let’s just get along or else nothing will get done.” Collaboration is unity for the sake of shared vision. Collaboration says, “Let’s work together because this has to be done.”


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 73). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Redwoods and wide roots:

I love the image of how coastal redwood trees grow as an example of collaboration. Unlike many other trees that put down relatively deep roots, including a taproot, coastal redwoods don’t. Even though the trees can grow to be nearly four hundred feet tall, their roots are shallow, going down only six to twelve feet. But they spread out broadly—often to more than one hundred feet. And they grow in groves, with their roots interweaving together, making the trees stand strong together, even in violent storms. Though they are the tallest trees in the world, redwoods rarely fall. No wonder they’ve been known to live for longer than two thousand years!


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (pp. 74-75). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

5 Agreements of Collective Collaboration:

1. A common agenda-The starting point for collaboration is an agreement on what the problem is and on how everyone will work together to solve it.

2. A shared measurement system-How do you know you’re actually accomplishing anything? You measure your progress, and you don’t leave the how of the measuring up in the air.

3. Contributing activities-Unity of mission doesn’t mean uniformity of action.

4. Continuous communication-Communication gets better when people have a common cause and they talk to one another continuously to make sure they keep it in common.

5. A support team-you are gathering people to a cause, then make sure you develop a skilled support team.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (pp. 75-78). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Unity vs. uniformity:

Unity of mission doesn’t mean uniformity of action.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 77). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

What it takes to be an effective team:

1. Tolerance of each other’s weaknesses.

2. Encouragement towards each other’s successes.

3. Acknowledgment that each of us has something to offer.

4. Mindfulness that all of us appreciate those three qualities.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 84). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

African Proverb on teamwork:

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. —AFRICAN PROVERB


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 85). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Two motivations for the book:

1. We wanted to motivate and equip you to make a difference right now in your community.

2. We wanted to encourage you to change your community with others.

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 85). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Why people rally around a cause:

1. They are seeking connection with others

2. They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves

3. They want to receive value from giving


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (pp. 86-87). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

The Inevitable Return Principle:

Give to others long enough, and we receive more than we give. Love people deeply enough, and love returns to us tenfold. Lift people up, and we get lifted even higher.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 87). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Why some attempts a movement don't move:

1. Lack of unity-Occupy Wall Street failure is an example.

2. Absence of a positive goal-Be for something, rather than against something.

3. Inadequate leadership-“The easiest thing is to react. The second easiest thing is to respond. But the hardest thing is to initiate.” - Seth Godin Transformational movements aren’t successful and sustainable unless they are led by transformational leaders.

4. Lack of organizational structure-It just needs to comprise people who are dedicated to helping all the players who are involved.

5. Thinking money is the answer-Money will not automatically create a movement. Transformation can’t be bought.

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (pp. 92). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Transformation can't be bought:

Money will not automatically create a movement. Transformation can’t be bought.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 92). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

6 Ways Transformational Movements Happen:

1. Waterfall-Top-Down approach that requires leadership. Transformation begins with influence, and influence always flows from the top down, like a waterfall, not upward.

2. Ladder-Bottom-Up approach that requires upward movement. While influence flows down, transformation climbs up.

3. Heart-Inside out aproach that embraces values.

4. Joined hands-Side-by-side aproach that desires partnership. As the challenge escalates, the need for teamwork elevates.

5. Table-A few to many approach that enables growth. Mass movements don't begin with the masses. They begin with a few people.

6. Bridge-Here to there approach that leads to transformation.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (pp. 93-105). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Where transformation begins:

Transformation begins with influence, and influence always flows from the top down, like a waterfall, not upward.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 93). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

MLK on true compassion:

True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. - MLK


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 99). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

How mass movements begin:

Mass movements don’t begin with the masses. They begin with a few people.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 104). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Values as the soul of the people:

Vision and mission are the head and the heart of people. But values are their soul.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 107). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Nigerian Proverb:

“One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts.”


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 108). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

The 5 requirements of a just cause:

1. For something—affirmative and optimistic

2. Inclusive—open to all those who would like to contribute

3. Service oriented—for the primary benefit of others

4. Resilient—able to endure political, technological and culture change

5. Idealistic—big, bold, and ultimately unachievable12

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 110). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Climbing the ladder of good values:

If we want to change our world, we can’t just climb the ladder of success. We need to climb the ladder of good values.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 111). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Characteristics of good partnerships:

1. Generosity: giving up resources for the whole.

2. Humility: giving up your own importance, position, and power.

3. Integrity: truthfulness so that others can depend on your character.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 121). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Enron values:

They were respect, integrity, communication and excellence...I thought it was clear, succinct, and powerful. “Wow!” I said. “That sounds like a great company. Who is it?” “You’ll never guess,” she answered with a smile. “Enron!”


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 123). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

What you say vs. what you do:

For leadership to be good and lasting, it must be preceded by good living. Good living comes from good values. If there’s a disconnect between what you say is important and what you do, then teaching values is worthless.

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 123). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Where transformation happens:

Transformation happens one table at a time.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 130). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

How Transformation Tables Work:

1.Transformation tables start small-Big things come from small beginnings.

2. Transformation tables provide common ground for people-Everything good in human interaction starts with common ground.

3. Transformation tables re-form and reinforce people's identities-Values are at the core of every person’s identity. Because transformation tables focus on good values, they reinforce the positive aspects of a participant’s identity.

4. Transformation tables connect awareness to application for people-When people come to transformation tables, one of the most important aspects of the process is how they are prompted to create a connection between self-awareness and application.

5. Transformation tables give people a way to track transformation-this process helps people track consistency and develop values that adhere to desired identity6. Transformation tables help people do life better together-People who learn good values at transformation tables become the kind of people who do care, who will help, and who can be trusted.

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (pp. 133-149). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Benefits of being at table together:

1. Proximity-You may be able to impress people from a distance, but you can impact them only from up close. Transformation is personal.

2. Environment-Motivation is overrated; environment matters more. We become like the people we spend our time with.

3. Repetition is never instantaneous. It takes time and it takes repetition.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (pp. 135-136). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

The importance of proximity:

You may be able to impress people from a distance, but you can impact them only from up close.

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 135). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Importance of environment for change:

Motivation is overrated; environment matters more. We become like the people we spend our time with.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 136). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Change takes time and repetition:

Change is never instantaneous. It takes time and it takes repetition.

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 136). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Disengaged people and organization impact:

Disengaged people rarely grow or stimulate growth in others around them. But when people are open and engaged, incredible things happen.

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 142). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

We measure what we treasure:

It’s true that we measure what we treasure.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 156). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Activity not accomplishment:

Leaders understand that activity is not necessarily accomplishment.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 157). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

5 D Method of Measuring What Got Done:

1. Discover—Find out what’s really going on and who is doing something about it. Listen deeply to folks and ask good follow-up questions.

2. Design—Develop a strategy that begins with the end in mind and builds on your strengths, not your weaknesses.

3. Deploy—Implement your plan. Start small, fail soon, and adjust often.

4. Document—Measure to make sure that your intended outcomes are being accomplished.

5. Dream—Start the cycle over, expanding what works and abandoning what doesn’t.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 158). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Problem with arguing with reality:

When we argue with reality, we lose 100 percent of the time.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 161). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Good African proverb:

“There was a man lost in the African jungle. He wandered for a long time trying to find his way. After many days, he found a little glass mirror on the ground. When he looked into the mirror, he was so disgusted by the dirty, haggard face he saw looking back at him that he threw the mirror on the ground and stomped on it. He hated the reflection the mirror revealed. But my friends and colleagues, the mirror isn’t at fault and cannot be blamed for the truth it reveals. The mirror is simply the messenger reflecting the current state of the man.”

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 162). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Bill Gates on Objectives vs. Missions:

Gates said, “In philanthropy, I see people confusing objectives with missions all the time. A mission is directional. An objective has a set of concrete steps that you’re intentionally engaged in and actually trying to attain. It’s fine to have an ambitious objective, but how do you scale it? How do you measure it?”


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 165). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Ideas vs. execution:

John Doerr put it this way: “Ideas are easy. Execution is everything.”


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 166). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Can't meet and work at the same time:

Peter Drucker, one of the great analytical designers in the world, warned about this in his book The Effective Executive: “One either meets or one works. One cannot do both at the same time.”


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 168). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Gotta trust the data:

W. Edwards Deming’s logic, ‘In God I trust; all others must bring data.’


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 169). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Learning from failures:

“I have failed more than I have succeeded, and it is on the ashes of those failures that all my success has been built.” - Rob Hoskins' dad


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 171). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Opportunities of a lifetime:

The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity. - Larry Stockstill


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 177). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

How to have transformation conversations with people:

1. Transformation conversations start with reality-Just because transformation conversations are positive doesn’t mean they ignore reality.

2. Transformation conversations generate better ideas and solutions-When it comes to generating ideas, dialogues are always better than monologues.

3. Transformation conversations offer hope-The defining characteristic of any transformation conversation is hope.

4. Transformation conversations celebrate successes through storytelling-Good stories move people emotionally, communicate truths, stick with people, and inspire others

5.Transformation conversations provide a supportive community.

6. Transformation conversations activate people's potential


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (pp. 183-186). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

Stories stick with people:

Facts fade, but stories stick with people.


Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (p. 194). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.

 

The 4 Phases of Transformational Change:

1. I Want to Make a Difference (Chapters 1-2)

2. With People Who Make a Difference (Chapters 3-4)

3. Living Values That Make a Difference (Chapters 5-6)

4. Taking Action That Makes a Difference (Chapters 7-8)

Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (pp. 194-209). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.


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