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Book Reviews

Is China Really a Threat?

March 11th, 2013 // 1:01 pm @

I try to read most new books on China, because I think the growth of China on the world stage will continue for some time and eventually conflict with America’s interests.

Whether the conflict turns to cooperation or serious difficulty remains to be seen, but keeping abreast of what is happening in China is essential for today’s leaders.

A new book, Is China Buying the World? by Peter Nolan, is an interesting addition to the field and adds several key ideas to the dialogue.

First, it makes the case that no, China is not buying the world any more than Japan bought it in the 1980s (despite widespread fears that this was occurring).

Second, however, China is certainly growing economically and in world influence.

Chinese firms have purchased ownership in a number of companies around the advanced world, as well as tying up access to a lot of natural resources in the developing world.

And numerous multi-national companies have heavily invested in China.

This growth will likely continue, and even expand.

Third, China’s major challenge is restricted access to oil and energy.

As it grows, its thirst for energy will continue to increase and drive its international business expansion.

Fourth, China wants to be a much bigger player on the world scene, and it is following a specific strategy for global influence.

This strategy includes major investments in two key sectors of the world economy, banking and the aerospace industry.

Chinese leaders hope that together, these things—increased investment in the developing world, increased ownership of international resources especially oil, growing global investment in China, increased ownership in multi-national companies, major growth of Chinese influence in the banking and aerospace sectors—will significantly strengthen China’s world role.

Fifth, advances in the aerospace industry are significant because of the close ties between military and business technologies and projects.

As China increases its role in this endeavor, along with banking, it becomes more powerful economically, technologically and, if it chooses, militarily.

This book is a detailed and important read for anyone who cares about the future of the big powers in world relations.

More to the point, more people need to read and think more about the specific issues currently at play in China’s growth.

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odemille 133x195 custom Egypt, Freedom, & the Cycles of HistoryOliver DeMille is the chairman of the Center for Social Leadership and co-creator of Thomas Jefferson Education.

He is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, and The Coming Aristocracy: Education & the Future of Freedom.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

Category : Blog &Book Reviews &Business &Current Events &Economics &Featured &Foreign Affairs

A Modern Classic – The Conscious Creator

February 15th, 2013 // 2:33 pm @

Book Review by Oliver DeMille of The Conscious Creator by Kris Krohn & Stephen Palmer

The Law of Attraction, Revisited

Every once in a while I read a book that really changes me—deeply, drastically, truly. I’ve never been the same since I read Les Miserables the first time, for example, and when I read The Making of America by W. Cleon Skousen my whole life shifted. The same happened when I read A World Split Apart by Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn, and The Law by Bastiat. Of course, scripture is the best read because it has changes for you no matter how many times you re-read it. Some books just change your life.

Today I read another life-changing book. In fact, I read it through the evening and couldn’t put it down so I read through the night. I usually read fast, but in this case I took so many notes that I didn’t finish until after 3 a.m. The book is The Conscious Creator by Kris Krohn with Stephen Palmer.

This book is brilliant, and I don’t use that word lightly. This book is a revolution, because it really gets to the heart of what the whole modern “Manifesting Your Dreams” movement is all about. Manifesting works for some people, but not for others, and Krohn and Palmer show why.

When the book The Secret came out a few years ago, it was an international phenomenon. Millions of people were touched by it, and moved by its promise of what great things can happen to one’s life when we apply “The Law of Manifestation.” Within a year, many people around the world were using its concepts in their daily lives. But over time, a lot of them felt disappointed by the results. Many critics lamented that the reality just didn’t live up to the hype, that the promises of the book just weren’t as realistic as described.

Perhaps the problem was that many people didn’t quite understand what was really needed. “Manifesting” can mean different things to different people, after all.

This problem is remedied by The Conscious Creator. It outlines six laws of manifesting, not just one. The first law, which is basically the same as that listed in The Secret and so many other books on manifesting what you really want in life, doesn’t work if you don’t apply the other five laws!

Just the chapter on Law 4 alone is worth much more than the price of the book. Anyone who wants to really understand the laws of success should read this book. After I finished reading it, even though it was late, I pulled out my copy of The Secret and perused my notes. In fact, many of the six laws are there, I just didn’t quite catch them before. But with the six laws fresh in my mind from reading The Conscious Creator, suddenly The Secret was a whole new book.

I read every new book I can get my hands on about the topics that really interest me, and manifesting is a fascinating field—whether you buy into it or not. Having read dozens of books on the subject, I am impressed by how effectively The Conscious Creator teaches the principles of success. In my opinion, it is the best book in the entire manifesting genre, right up there with The Jackrabbit Factor.

It is written as a story, like The One Minute Manager or The Richest Man in Babylon, and the story is engaging and fun. This is a great book, and I couldn’t sleep until I wrote this recommendation to everyone. In short, this is truly a great book! Read it! It won’t disappoint. It’s a modern classic.

Category : Blog &Book Reviews &Mini-Factories

A LeaderShift is coming. Are you ready?

February 8th, 2013 // 2:09 pm @

Now available for presale!

Pleadershiftcoverlease join us in celebrating Oliver DeMille’s latest work, co-authored with best-selling author and business guru Orrin Woodward — the  soon-to-be released book, LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, with an on-sale date of April 16, 2013.

This action-packed business fable is the culmination of Orrin and Oliver’s combined expertise and will offer every North American a deeper understanding of the Five Laws of Decline and how the respective effects are becoming increasingly evident in the United States.

LeaderShift will explain this devastating phenomenon in detail, motivate readers to take immediate and precise action and, most importantly, offer guidance on how each individual can contribute to not only stopping, but reversing this crippling trend.

Orrin and Oliver are proud to have LeaderShift published by the prestigious Hachette Book Group (second largest book publishing company in the world) and will hit the mainstream under the Business Plus imprint of one of the country’s most elite book publishing groups. In 2011, Hachette Book Group had a record 182 print books and 62 eBooks on the New York Times bestseller list, 45 of which reached #1.

At the time of this posting, LeaderShift is already rated #38 on Amazon’s sales ranking for Business Leadership titles, and #25 on Barnes and Noble.

Pre-order your copy today! >>

 

Category : Blog &Book Reviews &Business &Current Events &Entrepreneurship &event &Independents &Leadership

Understanding the President

August 13th, 2012 // 11:43 am @

One way to understand current events is to take a long view of the major historical trends at play, and another is to clearly define the systemic forces that influence what is going on.

A third is to learn about the character of the leaders who shape policy and especially those who have the power to make decisions that change society.

This third method may be the least accurate at predicting the years ahead, but it is often the most interesting of the three.

David Maraniss has helped Americans understand the character of our current President in his new book, Barack Obama: The Story.

Maraniss is a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, and he tells us several key traits that help us understand our top executive.

For example, according to Maraniss, Barack Obama is loathe to take risks until he has thought through every detail.

As a result, he avoids taking many risks, but often ends up taking a big risk when time runs out and he must act.

Thus his presidency has consisted of few singles or doubles, to use a baseball analogy, but a few well-placed homeruns such as passing health care and executing Osama bin Laden.

This methodology gives his critics evidence of a president lacking in consistent leadership and bungling too many things as the months pass, and it provides his supporters with a list of significant successes that only a truly top achiever could attain.

Thus the critics brush away his homeruns as anomalies, while his supporters see the months where little is accomplished as prelude to great strokes of leadership.

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odemille 133x195 custom Egypt, Freedom, & the Cycles of HistoryOliver DeMille is the chairman of the Center for Social Leadership and co-creator of Thomas Jefferson Education.

He is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, and The Coming Aristocracy: Education & the Future of Freedom.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

Category : Blog &Book Reviews &Current Events &Government &Leadership &Politics

The Adultescent Phase

July 14th, 2012 // 3:15 pm @

With more and more college graduates returning home to live with their parents, many adults are becoming frustrated with the rising generation.

In the book Slouching Toward Adulthood, Sally Koslow shows how this trend is the natural result of the last two generations of parenting.

The problem is not so much the slumped economy and high unemployment, although these are realities, but the fact that using student loans to get through college is now the norm, so when students graduate they are loaded with debt and many can’t afford rent.

Even more difficult, the Boomer generation tended to bring up their children with an attitude that left little room for the lessons learned from failure.

This was mixed with a strangely controlling approach to scheduling and achievement.

As reviewer Judith Newman wrote in People  (July 9, 2012):

“Recognize that channel-surfing, chips-snacking lump on the couch? It might well be your adult child. Koslow writes wittily about the infantilization of American youth as increasing numbers treat getting a job and moving out as just an option. The solution? Stop trying to inculcate our kids against failure, for starters.”

Koslow wrote the book in response to frustrations with her own sons.

One of them was a college graduate, twenty-five year old in her home who frequently slept until noon and then played with friends for the rest of the day and most of the night.

Over six million adult children now live with their parents, pay no rent, eat without limits from their parents’ fridge, and use the house, yard, cable and computers without paying for them.

Many consider their parents an ATM.

Moreover, very few of them are out actively seeking employment.

The irony, Koslow notes, is that most of these adults were raised in a culture where they were constantly told they were special.

The result is that they value having fun with friends, want to travel extensively, and look down on working for the money to pay for their lives, hobbies and interests.

Many of the generation see themselves as free spirits, but unlike the sixties generation they want the expensive yuppie lifestyles of freeloaders.

As Diedre Donahue put it in USA Today,

“The adults aren’t helping. Koslow believes parents often infantilize their adult children because it makes parents feel needed. The result: entitled but incompetent children and exploited but enabling adults.”

Of course, this doesn’t describe the entire generation, or even a majority of them, but it does accurately depict far too many.

This new adultescent trend, as Koslow calls it, doesn’t show any likelihood of slowing in the years ahead. If anything, it will likely increase.

Koslow writes of her own generation, the parents:

“The boomer generation, with its idiomatic immaturity and fury at the very idea that we have to age, is in no small part to blame for adultescents feeling as if there will always be time to break up with one more partner or employer, to search for someone or something better, to get another degree or to surf another couch, to wait around to reproduce.

“Thanks to our parents listening to Dr. Benjamin Spock and to us sucking up to TV ads that pandered to our kiddie greed, we established the model of unprecedented self-involvement, enhanced by our ceaseless boasting.”

As if that’s not enough, the new generation of adultescents “…crave attention and often cash from parents, whom they frequently ask to help them move from place to place; create a mess; rack up debt…”

Then, all too often, they blame their parents for their plight, anxiety, and lack of opportunity.

Koslow’s own sons have now moved away from home and on to adult lives, much to the relief of any reader who has adult children, and in most cases the adultescent phase does eventually pass even if it takes about a decade longer than it used to.

The Boomer system of consistent coddling has borne dismal results.

Sadly, the Tiger Mom approach to forced excellence and settling for nothing but top achievement also often results in adultescentism.

In contrast, helping young people take responsibility for their own learning, careers and lives right from the beginning pays off when they are adults.

Leadership education works.

The economy is difficult, jobs are scarcer than in three generations, and the feelings of youth entitlement at are a century (perhaps all-time) high.

But those with a leadership education know that they have a life mission and need to use initiative, innovation, ingenuity and tenacity to rise to their potential.

They may still want to join their generation and experience an adultescent phase, but in most cases it will be much shorter than that of their peers.

Maybe the best thing about this book is that it is all shared with a hilarious sense of humor. It’s not stressful, it’s fun.

So smile and enjoy your adult kids’ time with you. Give them real chores and rules in the home.

It’s your home, after all.

The key to helping the kids become adults is to be one yourself.

Oh, and charge them rent or have them work it off in equivalent ways. They’re adults, and treating them like it is a sign of respect.

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odemille 133x195 custom Egypt, Freedom, & the Cycles of HistoryOliver DeMille is the chairman of the Center for Social Leadership and co-creator of Thomas Jefferson Education.

He is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, and The Coming Aristocracy: Education & the Future of Freedom.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

Category : Blog &Book Reviews &Culture &Family &Featured &Generations

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