Bo White

Ideas and Grace over Coffee

A Review: The Key to Everything

According to Matt Keller, the Key to Everything is ‘teachability’. And I am a bit torn in writing this review because the overall content is positive. For example, the author describes ‘teachability’ as “a willingness to learn something new,” (5) as well as “a willingness to relearn what you think you already know,” (5). And I like both these points, but didn’t exactly buy the rest of the book and here’s why: it felt more like an outline than a manuscript. I am not a fan of the writing style of the book.

Bullet points, main points, comedic footnotes, and helpful pointers all made some interesting discussion points (you see that I thought that the book was a series of points being made, right?), but not sure that it expanded on a main point. There’s a lot of John Maxwell influence in here, even to the point of a chapter devoted to asking good questions (interestingly a recent book of Maxwell’s) and Keller makes a nod more than once in Maxwell’s direction from Preface to notes.

Where I felt I truly struggled was in chapter 13 where we were told that “teachability has the power to get you a lot of things in life,” (162). I disagree. Teachability is not utilitarian, in my mind. The fruit of teacahability is irrelevant, because humble, teachable people are more interested (in my experience) in learning more than in being rewarded for it. And then I became a bit disillusioned by a few illustrations that follow (not sure I understand the Rick Warren reference of smartphone photos and the like). With this said, let me return to Keller’s points of being willing to learn and relearn.

I will take those points to heart as to learn and relearn sounds a lot like a life of repentance and faith or a life that is consistently improving and for that, I am grateful to be reminded. It’s hard to recommend the book in its entirety, but not hard to agree with its thesis. Being teachable is important–I am not sure it’s the key to everything, but it’s on the same team of the keys that unlock meaningful doors.

(Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own)


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