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A Truly Excellent Book on Genius and How to Develop It!

April 3rd, 2012 // 9:41 pm @

Genius by Mike Byster

5 Stars
Reviewed by Oliver DeMille

I love it when a plan comes together. Okay, it isn’t really a plan. But I still love it when I read a book that says what we’ve been saying for years in Leadership Education.

I enjoy disagreeing with books too, which is why I love to talk about Lord of the Flies or 1984 with people who have read them repeatedly and given them a lot of thought.

But today I read a book that agreed with much of what I wrote about in A Thomas Jefferson Education and that I’ve been speaking and writing about for a long time.

I had the same experience when I read The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle, Unschooling Rules by Clark Aldrich, The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner, and A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink.

Today’s book was Genius by Mike Byster.

Those who have followed Leadership Education and Thomas Jefferson Education (TJEd) know that we have long taught that all people on the planet have genius within them, and that it is a fundamental purpose of good education to help them find and develop their genius.

Byster goes a step further, by teaching the reader how to develop one’s areas of inner genius, and the result is a truly excellent book.

Those familiar with Leadership Education will resonate with several recurring themes.

For example, Byster argues that a major problem with modern education is that we put too much emphasis on teaching subjects rather than helping students learn how to effectively learn and think.

He quotes Albert Einstein and Alvin Toffler, respectively: “I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn,” and “The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

Most significantly, at least for me, Byster outlines a plan or pattern of teaching and learning genius.

Again, many of the themes are familiar to me, but they are couched in new ways and combined with new concepts, examples and ideas that make the book an instant classic for me. I’ll read it again and again.

Byster teaches the following “Six Skills of A Genius,” and gives suggestions and exercises for mastering them:

  • Focus
  • Concentration
  • “Retaining Massive Amounts of Information Without ‘Memorizing’” (This is accomplished by making learning fun, exciting and otherwise engaging one’s own love of learning and areas of passionate interest.)
  • Thinking Outside the Box
  • Organization (This includes finding patterns in things and reorganizing information to better intersect with one’s own mind and world.)
  • Forgetting

What a great outline. I especially like the last one, which reminds me of counsel I often gave to freshmen and sophomores: “Only take notes on things you deeply care about and want to remember, rather than just summarizing whatever lecture you attend.”

Not trying to remember things you don’t want to recall is a vital part of remembering the important things.

Again, this book resonated with me in so many ways that I was excited to go back and read it again.

The first time I just read it through, then I spent the evening and long into the night reading it a second time and taking copious notes.

Maybe the most enjoyable thing about this book is that many of the exercises are focused on math.

I hope that doesn’t stop anybody from reading it, because it was some of the most enjoyable and downright fun math I’ve done since…well, ever.

This was a very entertaining, pleasurable, amusing book. I learned so much! I recommend it everyone, whether you know anything about TJEd or not.

For those with a background in Leadership Education, I think you’ll love this book as much as I did. Principles of truth are principles of truth, after all, and this book is full of such principles.

I add it to A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe by Michael Schneider as one of my all-time favorite books on math, and also as one of the best books on “Leadership Education.”

Read it, love it, have fun with it. Enjoy!

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

He is the co-author of New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller LeaderShift, and 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.

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Category : Blog &Book Reviews &Education &Featured &Leadership &Mission

Right vs. Cool

April 3rd, 2012 // 9:12 pm @

The Upcoming Elections

Weeks ago I wrote an article about two kinds of voters in modern America, the traditionalists (who vote mostly based on issues) and the literalists (who vote pragmatically).

The response has been both widespread and interesting.

The feedback made it clear that a lot of independent voters understood and appreciated my point, but few traditionally partisan voters fully understood what I was trying to say.

So, I’m going to try this again. Here goes…

Many voters base their vote on the issues. They like the views of one major party and dislike the views of the other.

Or, if they don’t identify with either party, they still listen to the ideas and platforms of each candidate and vote for who they think will do the best job in office—and they determine who “will do the best job” based on the candidate’s stance on important issues.

There is another kind of voter. This second kind of voter had little influence before the Age of the Internet, because the two big parties ran state and national politics.

This has changed in the last few years, mainly because the Internet and various social media have given a real voice to people outside the two big parties and a few editors at major newspapers and television networks.

Today, this second kind of voter has a huge voice.

For the most part, the first kind of voter is still depending on party caucuses, party meetings and party delegates, while the second kind of voter is engaging on-going online debates about political topics that go on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and doesn’t care if there is a party meeting next month or if it already happened last month.

The first kind of voter elects the candidate he thinks is most right on the issues. The second kind of voter prefers the candidate he considers the most “cool.”

The word “cool” may seem incongruent with political commentary, but it isn’t.

At a recent political rally, I sat quietly on a couch and listened to the people walking past. It was a big crowd, and I wrote a lot of notes as I recorded what various voters said.

“Obama is so cool!” “Ron Paul is so cool!” “Ron Paul is awesome!” “Obama is the worst president ever.” “Ron Paul’s foreign policy is just plain crazy!” “Obama can really sing!” “Yeah, and dance!”

In contrast, I also wrote: “Mitt Romney is our only chance to fix the economy, avoid further downgrading of our credit rating, and re-energize private sector growth.”

These are only a few of the notes I took, but they are indicative of the overall mood.

I wrote something very close to the following at least a dozen times: “Governor Romney is the only candidate with both executive experience and an understanding of private sector business growth.”

But not one person who spoke of a candidate within my earshot said anything remotely like, “Romney is so cool.”

This certainly wasn’t a scientific study or poll.

My notes were entirely anecdotal.

But one theme emerged that I found interesting: the divide between gut-level, emotional comments and those that were clearly cerebral. I went away thinking that if Romney becomes the Republican nominee, he will have to immediately find a way to connect with regular Americans on an emotional, gut level, or he won’t have a chance in the general election.

Again, there are two kinds of voters.

One looks for the “right” candidate who will do the “right” thing on the important issues, the other looks for the candidate who is “awesome,” or “cool.”

Note that this isn’t just a generational difference, nor is the idea that a candidate is “cool” only a shallow, high-schoolish popularity thing.

It actually speaks to something much deeper, something that is perhaps intangible but which Washington insiders wisely refer to as “the leadership thing.”

Pundits on both sides of the aisle frequently discount “the cool thing” as simple and unsophisticated, but only because they tend to be issues voters.

They see elections as choosing the candidate who is the most right on the most issues, as discussed above, and they dismiss “the cool thing” because they tend to believe that all voters are issues voters.

But the second kind of voter is increasingly influential in American politics.

Indeed, in every presidential election in recent times the candidate with “the leadership thing” has won.

Most liberals vote with the Democratic candidate, and most conservatives vote for the Republican candidate.

But there are now more independents than Republicans or Democrats, and a lot of independents are “leadership” voters.

They just want great leadership, not another candidate trying to convince every group that he is
“with them” on the issues.

The more sophisticated of these leadership voters have additional criteria, but the masses go with “the cool thing.”

This is part of the American character, and the majority of these voters cast their votes for the candidate they think most likely to be the best leader.

Note that they define “leadership” as “leadership skills regardless of political leanings,” not as “closest to me on the issues.”

And these voters have quite a record. They supported:

Reagan over Carter
Reagan over Mondale
Bush over Dukakis
Clinton over Bush
Clinton over Dole
Bush over Gore
Bush over Kerry
Obama over McCain

In every case, most liberals voted Democratic and most conservatives voted Republican, but the nation went with leadership over issues.

And in most cases, it wasn’t that one candidate won “the leadership thing” as much as that one candidate lost on leadership.

In short, in every modern election we choose the “cool” candidate, and we define “cool” in ways having little or nothing to do with political views, left or right, liberal or conservative.

You can like this or dislike it, but issues voters need to get one thing very clear: All of these elections were determined by the second type of voter.

Those who want to understand our elections need to realize that while some voters vote on the issues, the deciding swing voters in close elections always go for what politicos call “the leadership thing” and what the masses would more easily understand as “the cool thing.”

And, again, this isn’t immature or shallow.

It’s about a profound, gut-level trust in the potential of great leadership, combined with a deep mistrust of political parties and politicians of every stripe.

Indeed, if you don’t trust what any politicians say, their rhetoric on the issues falls on deaf ears and you have to find some other way to decide who to vote for.

And, frankly, their potential for leadership is an excellent criterion.

I personally tend to be an issues voter, and I think the future of the economy makes the next election a vital concern for all Americans.

But I’m in the minority on this, as are all issues voters.

This election, like most others for the past thirty years, is going to be determined on the basis of how the top candidates project their non-political leadership ability.

I’ve said elsewhere that the most important races of 2012 are the U.S. House and Senatorial elections, and I still hold this view.

The presidential election and a lot of local elections are also important, and all of us can do more to make our influence felt.

On a practical note: If your candidate isn’t very “cool,” if he or she is depending only on the issues to win the election, do your best to help promote their case on the basis of leadership!

The outcome and impact of the upcoming elections depend on it.

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

He is the co-author of New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller LeaderShift, and 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.

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Category : Blog &Citizenship &Current Events &Featured &Government &Independents &Leadership &Liberty &Statesmanship

Capitalism vs. Capitalism

March 20th, 2012 // 11:19 am @

An Essential Debate for the Future of Freedom

There are two major types of economies: market and command.

Within these two branches there are a number of subtypes, including various command-style economies such as socialism, communism, fascism, collectivism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism.

The market-economy subgroups are sometimes more confusing to people from free societies, because most of us have been trained to evaluate politico-economic issues in binary mode where we narrow any debate down to only two sides (e.g. socialist or capitalist, democratic or totalitarian, good or evil, free or not free, etc.).

That said, we live in an era where the various subtypes of market economics are in conflict.

During the Cold War the world was divided between two great camps, with market economies of all types firmly allied against all command economies, but in the post Cold War and post 9/11 world this has dramatically changed.

There are forces supporting each of the various subtypes of market economy, and often these are pitted against each other in ways unthinkable before 1989.

Differentiating between these subtypes is important for anyone who wants to accurately understand what it happening in today’s world:

  • Mercantilism: the law gives preference and special benefits to the sector of the economy owned by the government.
  • Corporatism: the law gives preference and special benefits to the sector of the economy owned by big corporations within the nation (sometimes referred to simply as “Big Business”).
  • Capitalism: the law gives preference and special benefits to the sector of the economy owned by big capital (including big corporations like in Corporatism, but also wealthy foreign and multinational corporations and non-corporate institutions, wealthy foundations, wealthy trusts, non-profit entities, wealthy families, moneyed foreign investors, and others with mass amounts of capital).
  • Keynesianism: the law gives preference and special benefits to companies and institutions (corporate but especially non-corporate) that are so big that they care more about their public image for societal responsibility and promoting social justice than about profit(s), market share or stock value.
  • Free Enterprise: the law gives no special preference; it protects equal rights for all individuals and entities and leaves initiative and enterprise to private individuals, groups, businesses and organizations that are all treated equally and with minimal legislation by the legal code.

All of these subtypes are market-based, though according to Keynes himself Keynesianism “seeks the goals of socialism through market means.”

For the last three generations these five subtypes of market economics have all been lumped together under the label of “capitalism.”

While this is technically inaccurate—because capitalism is a subtype rather than the whole of market economics—it is the way the word “capitalism” has been used by most people.

By this definition, capitalism is synonymous with “market economics” and is a label for the entire market-style model.

So we have two definitions of “capitalism” in the current usage: one a title for the whole market field of economics (we’ll call it capitalism Type 1), and the other a specific type of market economics where preference is given to those with large amounts of capital (capitalism Type 2).

These are frequently confused in our contemporary language.

Supporters of freedom get understandably frustrated when anyone questions the superiority of Type 1 over command economies, but it is vital to understand how Type 2 differs from free enterprise.

Adding to this confusion, corporatism is not the same as Type 2 capitalism.

Corporatism doesn’t include capitalism Type 2 at all, but capitalism Type 2 always includes corporatism as part of what it calls “capitalism.” (Corporatism is to Type-2-capitalism what apple is to fruit.)

In short, Type 2 capitalism is much broader than corporatism, as shown in the definition above.

Again, this is confusing to most people, but understanding the details and nuances of how these words are used is extremely important.

Note that the American founders dealt with many similar language challenges, such as when Madison spent Federalist papers 10 and 14 explaining the important differences between democracies and republics, or when he used papers 18, 19 and 20 to elucidate the differences between federations, confederations, national and federal government.

Without such clarity, the Constitution would have been confusing to many Americans who were deciding whether or not to ratify it.

There are numerous similar examples, and part of being a free people is taking the time to understand the nuances of economic and political freedom.

Note that few things are more essential for free people than clearly understanding what type of economic system they want.

Based on the definitions above, consider these three conclusions:

  1. All of the market subtypes are better than all types of command economies. Even the market approaches with the least freedom (Keynesianism and mercantilism) are significantly better (with more freedom, opportunity and prosperity for more people) than the command system with the most freedom (collectivism).
  2. On the subject of the five subtypes of market economy, free enterprise is significantly better (with more freedom, opportunity and prosperity for all), than mercantilism, corporatism, capitalism Type 2, and/or Keynesianism.
  3.  The United States today has far too much mercantilism, corporatism, Type 2 capitalism, and Keynesianism and not enough free enterprise.

Many moderns say we are a “capitalist” nation or vote for the “capitalist” candidate and conclude that all is well, when in fact free enterprise is under attack from socialism but also just as strongly from mercantilists, corporatists, Keynesians and Type 2 capitalists.

Voters and citizens must know what to look for when a policy or candidate claims to promote “capitalism.”

***********************************

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

He is the co-author of New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller LeaderShift, and 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.

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Category : Blog &Business &Economics &Featured &Government &Liberty &Prosperity

The New Challenge of Governments

February 28th, 2012 // 10:03 pm @

Globalization is changing the demand on governments around the world. Since the advent of the nation-state in 1648, the purpose of national government has been to protect its citizens from attack by international forces and domestic criminals.

Local government has focused on providing the various needs of citizens as deemed appropriate by voters and constitutional by the courts, and together these two levels of government (national and state in the U.S.) have been responsible for certain limited roles; the rest was left to private institutions and citizens.

With the growth of internationalism in the twentieth century, many governments took on the additional responsibility of helping its citizens prosper through the use of diplomacy, military strength and multilateral decision-making abroad.

Such responsibilities included, for example, the safety of citizens traveling the world, the protection of international investments by domestically-owned corporations, and the maintenance of trade and low prices in important commodities (from sugar to petroleum).

Where internationalism added a few such roles to many national governments, globalism is rewriting the entire purpose of government.

And where internationalism assumes a world made up of various separate nations with individual sovereignty and diplomatic arrangements between equals, globalism is based on a different perspective.

In the globalist view, we live in one world, everything that happens everywhere affects us all, and government should care for citizen needs by taking action around the world as needed to protect and promote the best results for its constituents.

Basically nothing is off limits.

This adds numerous implied responsibilities to governments that embrace the globalistic worldview.

For people who believe government should be limited to the authorities explicitly delegated by the people in the Constitution (as I do), this is a disturbing development.

It is becoming a concern for everyone as time passes.

On a technical level, the U.S. Constitution allows the federal government to engage in and ratify treaties with other nations, and when this occurs these treaties become part of the de facto constitutional structure of our nation.

In the era of internationalism (beginning around 1913 and expanding ever since, especially after 1944), the treaty powers have been used to drastically change our Constitutional model.

This is part of the “fine print” of our Constitutional society, and it has been ignored by almost all ordinary citizens.

But the shift from internationalism to globalism is a significantly bigger change (in size and also scope) than the shift from nationalism to internationalism.

Under the new values and ideals of globalism, the role of government is, well, everything it deems desirable.

Literally.

This viewpoint is fundamentally the end of limited government.

Government in the global era is expected to survey the world, see needs, debate and vote about them, and pass legislation or issue executive orders to deal with whatever the government deems advantageous—the Constitution notwithstanding.

This includes taking action at the most local and personal level, including in peoples’ homes and family decisions, and also at the macro-level in any and every corner of the world.

This is big government gone über.

In this view, government should do whatever is needed to accomplish whatever it considers popular or important.

The courts are allowed to sort out whether or not such action was acceptable, but only after the fact. No checks stop such government action and no balances are required before the government can act.

This is more than big government; it is closer to the philosophy of governance that Hobbes called Leviathan.

No wonder the government hasn’t yet figured out quite how to respond to this changing sense of the state’s proper role.

Congressman Paul Ryan argues that the federal government doesn’t have a tax problem but rather a spending problem, but according to this new viewpoint of globalism the U.S. is going to have to spend a lot more—a lot more!—in the years and decades ahead to fulfill its proper role.

From this perspective, our federal spending spree is just getting started, and the only way to meet the need is to fundamentally reform taxation and get the upper and upper middle classes to foot the bill for a globalist government run from Washington.

In this outlook, we’ll need to keep raising the budget every year and the required spending is deeply underfunded.

Only massive increases in taxes can get us moving in the right direction.

The old debate between Conservatives and Liberals just doesn’t rise to the level of this new challenge, and the current energy in Washington is focused on a globalistic agenda that anticipates drastic increases in government for decades to come.

Georgetown University’s Charles A. Kupchan, wrote:

“A crisis of governability has engulfed the world’s most advanced democracies. It is no accident that the United States, Europe and Japan are simultaneously experiencing political breakdown; globalization is producing a widening gap between what electorates are asking of their governments and what those governments are able to deliver.” (Foreign Affairs, January/February 2012)

Globalism is leading to a natural decrease in the living standard of developed nations, and citizens of such nations are turning to government to help bring back the lifestyles they’ve grown accustomed to enjoying.

As the lower and middle classes of the world join the global economy, and as competition for investment and credit is spread around the globe, the special benefits that the middle classes in advanced nations have carved out for themselves are becoming unsustainable.

The middle class was created by generations who worked very hard to earn such benefits, but their posterity seems to prefer keeping these same perks without putting forth the same effort.

When this doesn’t work, they want their government to simultaneously block immigrants from “taking our jobs” and also find ways to maintain their parents’ lifestyle without having to earn them the same way earlier generations did.

Except for the entrepreneurial class—and government is increasing the barriers to entrepreneurship.

This is painful.

And it forces a choice at the voting booth: either more freedom coupled with harder work on the one side or higher taxes on the rich combined with more government benefits on the other.

The “government fix” approach is predictably more popular.

The real answer is to re-establish a truly free system, where the government limits itself to the authority outlined in the Constitution and the laws are altered to re-emphasize true free enterprise where the laws treat everyone (lower, middle and upper classes) equally.

Freedom works, and a refocus on freedom will once again make America’s economy the envy of the world.

Capital, investment and entrepreneurialism aren’t fleeing the United States because of globalism but because Washington’s policies have made the U.S. economy less profitable and attractive to business.

Unless the United States returns to a genuine free-enterprise model, our long-term economic trajectory will decline.

The battle has changed, though most people haven’t realized it yet.

Now it’s less about Left vs. Right and more the burgeoning issues of Free Enterprise vs. Globalism.

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

He is the co-author of New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller LeaderShift, and 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.

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Category : Blog &Current Events &Government &Leadership &Liberty &Politics &Statesmanship

Resolve to read this book.

February 25th, 2012 // 8:37 am @

A review of Orrin Woodward’s game-changing new book, Resolved: 13 Resolutions for LIFE

by Oliver DeMille

The freedom of any society is directly related to the quality of books that are widely read in that society. That said, there are some books everyone should read, like The Federalist Papers and Democracy in America.* And in a society like ours where we are desperate for more leaders at all levels, truly excellent books on leadership are vital to the future of freedom.

I recently read a book on leadership that everyone simply must read. It is Resolved, by Orrin Woodward.

I’ve read Woodward’s books before, so when this one arrived in the mail I put away everything else and read it straight through. It kept me up most of the night, and it was so worth it!

This is a fabulous book on leadership. It outlines 13 resolutions every person should make in our modern world, and gives specific helps on how to turn them into habits. Indeed, this book could be titled The 13 Habits of Success and Happiness for Everyone. The stories and examples from great leaders of history and current events are moving and uplifting. I literally have never read a better book on leadership than this one.

Woodward’s book is on par with the great leadership works like:

It is truly a revolution in leadership books.

The 13 resolutions are exactly what we need leaders to adopt across our society. They are applicable to family and home leadership, community and business leadership, and societal and national leadership. They apply to the United States and other countries, and together they form a blueprint for renewing America and innovating a new and better Western Civilization.

The book is divided into three parts: private resolutions, public resolutions and leadership resolutions. Each of the 13 resolutions build upon each other, and together they create an effective and motivating system of becoming a better person and leader. They help the reader improve in career and in societal impact.

This focus on societal leadership is both timely and profound. In the 1950s we experienced a major “leader-shift” in society. Before World War II, most communities were led by professionals—doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants, etc.—and before that by big landowners and even earlier tribal chiefs. The management revolution started by Edward Deming and popularized by Ray Kroc changed the focus of leading society from professionals to managers. This was captured in William Whyte’s great 1956 classic The Organization Man.

By the 1980s another major leader-shift occurred, this time from management (“do things right”) to leadership (“do the right things”). The great transitional classic of this shift was The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It outlined 7 habits that leaders needed in order to help their companies excel, and these habits became part of the mainstream language: for example, “Be Proactive,” “Think Win-Win,” and “Synergize.” Another great classic of this shift was Synergetics by Buckminster Fuller. The leadership revolution brought a whole new vision of what is means to be a leader.

Today we are witnessing a similar leader-shift, this time from leadership of organizations (“do the right things”) to leadership of society (“move society in the right direction”). Woodward’s Resolved is a seminal classic in this change. In fact, some of the early books in this change include Launching a Leadership Revolution by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey, and Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman.

Woodward is more than an author; he has actually put these 13 resolutions to work in his business leadership. For this leadership, Orrin Woodward was named the 2011 International Association of Business’s Top Leader of the Year Award. His book Resolved outlines how we can all become such leaders.

In Resolved, Woodward shares a host of ideas and effective means of using family, business and societal leadership to impact the world. For example, he shows how Gibbon and Toynbee taught the laws of decline that are now attacking our culture and modern free nations.

He shows the three types of freedom and why they depend on each other—and how the loss of one is actually a loss of all. He helps leaders understand how freedom and character are inseparable and at the root of all societal progress and therefore leadership. His model of “Leadership Legacy” alone is worth the price of the book, and adds a whole new dimension to leadership literature.

Woodward adds several other new models to the leadership genre. He shows how five important laws from science, economics and history (Sturgeon’s Law, Bastiat’s “Law,” Gresham’s Law, the Law of Diminishing Returns, and the Law of Inertia) are combing in our current world, and what leaders need to understand and do about these five laws—individually and collectively.

These five laws are already part of our mainstream culture, but the analysis of how they are working together and what future leaders must do about it is new, deep and profound. No leader can afford not to understand this cutting-edge thinking.

On a stylistic note, Woodward consistently uses fascinating quotes, ideas, stories, historical examples and even one equation in ways that make the reader see things in a whole new way. For example, he puts an intriguing new twist on Chaos Theory, the Butterfly Effect, a poem by Yeats, Systems Theory, the writings of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, credit card usage, American Idol, the “TriLateral Leadership Ledger,” the IBM way, Aristotle on true friendship, and many other delightful references from every field of thought –all written in a highly understandable and enjoyable way.

After I read Resolved the first time, I placed it next to my work chair and each day I open it randomly and read the quotes or stories on whatever page opens. It is always uplifting. Here are a few topics I’ve studied in Resolved during such random reading:

  • Why courage isn’t pragmatism
  • Producers vs. Exploiters
  • A commentary on Jim Collins’ Hedgehog Principle
  • The common reasons 23 major civilizations in history declined, and how we can avoid their mistakes
  • The combining of mind, heart and will
  • Charles Garfield on Success through Visualization
  • Will Smith’s work ethic
  • Never whine, never complain, never make excuses—and what to do instead
  • Woodward’s 10 principles of financial literacy (Wow! Every American should study these.)
  • Five steps for effective conflict resolution—in family, business and beyond
  • How to really build business systems that work
  • Henry Hazlitt’s economics in one lesson—and how to really understand the economy
  • The conflict between creativity and realism in national leadership

There is so much more. In one example, Woodward quotes G.K. Chesterton after he was asked to write an essay on “What’s Wrong with the World?” Chesterton wrote simply: “Dear Sirs, I am. Sincerely yours, G.K. Chesterton.” This, in summary, is what Resolved is all about. The rest of the book, all 13 resolutions, teaches us how to effectively become the leaders the world needs—and that we were born to be.

This book has articulated the leadership motto of the 21st Century: “It has been said that everyone wants to change the world but few feel the need to change themselves. Even a basic study of history, however, demonstrates that those who first focus upon self-improvement usually ending up doing the most good in the world.”

Gandhi taught the same sentiment when he said that we must be the change we wish to see in the world, and Woodward quotes Confucius in saying that those who want to improve the world must ultimately focus on bettering themselves.

Buddha is credited with saying that our purpose in life is to find our purpose in life, and then to give our whole heart and soul to accomplishing this purpose. Perhaps no generation more exemplified such leadership by example than the American founders, and Woodward discusses them and their words (especially Washington and Franklin) at length in showing us how to become the leaders we meant to be.

Woodward also shows examples of effective leadership from such greats as Sam Walton, John Wooden, Ludwig von Mises, and Roger Bannister, among others.

I could go on and on. Resolved really does, in my opinion, mark a leader-shift to a whole new level of leadership training for the new Century. If you are only going to get one book on leadership, this is the one. What a great book. Our whole society needs to study more about leadership, and apply what we learn.

*Links to book titles provided for your convenience in reviewing and purchasing referenced books. Any purchases on amazon initiated from these links result in amazon sharing a portion of their profits with TJEd. Thanks so much for your support!

 

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

He is the co-author of New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller LeaderShift, and 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.

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