Redefining Financial Freedom [Author Interview]

Having an active website on the blogosphere has allowed me to connect with other authors, leaders, influencers, and decision makers from a variety of sectors and industries, and from all across the globe. And since my primary focus in life, work, and ministry, is connecting the biblical principles of disciple-making movements and apostolic church planting, with the rapidly expanding mission field that exists in today’s marketplace, I always enjoy connecting with other Kingdom-minded “change agents” and believers who are positively affecting their workplace with their faith and the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

One such acquaintance, is Chad Hamilton, CFP ®, author of the new book, Redefining Financial Freedom: A Gospel-Based Approach to Money (PFI Publishing: Denver, 2016) and Deep Wealth: An Exploration of Money, Meaning, and What Really Matters (PFI Publishing: Denver, 2015). Chad and I share many similar interests, including both having a background in financial services, and a shared understanding of money as a heavenly resource from God, that requires intense responsibility, integrity, and stewardship. In fact, our first encounter occurred over a review I had written of Andy Stanley’s book, How to Be Rich: It’s Not What You Have, It’s What You Do With What You Have (Zondervan, 2013). Recently, I interviewed Chad about his own book, Redefining Financial Freedom, and think that you’ll find our dialogue insightful.

  1. How does Redefining Financial Freedom fit with or differ from your previous book, Deep Wealth?

Deep Wealth was written for anybody, regardless of their perspective on faith, whereas Redefining Financial Freedom assumes the reader is a follower of Jesus.  That allowed me to dive deeper into the scriptural implications of financial decision-making in RFF.  There are certain similar themes running throughout both of them, particularly the need for more integration and less compartmentalization as it pertains to money, work, and spirituality.

  1. What is the goal you have for readers of Redefining Financial Freedom?

I want to challenge the reader by upending conventional wisdom about financial matters.  We need to be intentional in how we approach financial topics and creatively reimagine what it could look like to truly embrace a redemptive perspective.

  1. How do you connect the concept of freedom in faith to finances?

As human beings, we are all made to worship.  We all shape our lives around what we love most.  The only question is the object of our love.  Anytime we love anything more than we love God – whether that is a career, a relationship, or a certain status or image – it will control us.  And we will not be freed, no matter how much money we accumulate.  Therefore, true financial freedom is contingent on freedom in Christ.

  1. There are many questions about money. What makes the three you chose to address so important?

I chose three that are, frankly, easy to remember and that span all aspects of financial considerations.  Of the 3 money questions – 1) How did you get it? 2) What are you doing with it? 3) What is it doing to you? – we often miss the first and last ones.  We will never be truly free if our notion of freedom implies that we are liberated from work.  Instead, we need to learn to be liberated in our work by understanding the meaning of vocation or a calling to serve.  And, in terms of the last question, do we really ask what money is doing to our souls?  Jesus talked about money a lot.  Approximately, 15% of everything he said had to do with money.  His primary objective was to show that money is a great magnifier – it reveals what we truly love.  Therefore, it is tremendously important that we understand why we are making the financial decisions we are making.

  1. Can you explain the pendulum swings of financial idolatry and financial apathy?

I look at idolatry and apathy as the two big barriers to freedom.  The Bible says that sin is really a matter of disordered loves so, as a result, we are prone to attribute way too much importance to what money can do for us (idolatry) and too little importance on what money can do to us (apathy).  It is a matter of idolatry when we look to money to provide us only those things that God can provide (i.e., status, love, security, comfort).  On the other hand, we struggle with apathy when we don’t care to even ask questions pertaining to the types of investments we are making or the meaning of the work we are doing.

  1. Why is having the right attitude about vocation necessary for stewarding financial resources biblically?

The fact is that most of us will spend the majority of our adult lives doing some kind of work.  Money does not just appear from out of nowhere – at least not for most of us!  It is the result of our human capital (our time, talent, and abilities) being converted into financial capital.  And when the Bible speaks of stewardship, it is referring not only to our financial resources, but also to our work or vocation.  And if we don’t have the right attitude about our vocation, it will negatively impact how we think about other financial goals such as retirement or gifting.

  1. Why is work both external and internal?

Work is how we properly utilize our God-given gifts and abilities (internal) to help serve customers and/or the community (external).

  1. How can I begin to tangibly integrate my Christian values into investing?

I’d encourage you to go to the Christian Investment Forum (christianinvestmentforum.org).  There is a lot of good information there – everything from an introduction to the topic to performance studies on the impact of utilizing values-based investment screens to details about fund companies that incorporate a faith-based approach to investing.

  1. Your “Gospel-Based Approach to Money” is very holistic, some would even say reminiscent of the Hebraic paradigm. Why do you think so many North American believers look at finances with more of a Platonic worldview, where the compartmentalizing of finances allows people to use the “end result” of giving to justify the “means” of unethical monetary accumulation?

This is what people are trained to do.  If you look at the myriad books and educational programs out there from Christian financial gurus, they nearly all take what I would call a “Law Based Approach to Money.”  They teach you to follow certain financial principles because… it will allow you to be debt free or financially secure or live your best life now, etc.  A gospel-based approach to money, on the other hand, says you follow certain financial principles because the story of Jesus Christ has so gripped your heart that your grip on money is loosened in ways that benefit you and others around you.  We don’t need more teaching about personal finance that sprinkles in Bible verses or Biblical principles; we need more teaching that starts with the gospel and, consequently, reshapes the way we relate to money.  Ultimately, we don’t need good advice that informs us; we need the Good News that transforms us.

  1. Can you explain what you mean by a “double bottom line”?

Traditionally, most people have invested purely in search of profits. If you wanted to make a difference in the community, you would do that through your gifting.

This resulted in a compartmentalized approach which essentially divided financial intentions into two buckets — one for investing and one for charitable giving.  This approach means you are seeking to achieve a financial return with a strategy of traditional investing and a social return through philanthropy.

The problem with this approach is that it ignores a fundamental reality.  All businesses have a social return.  The only question is whether it is a positive or negative one.  The solution is to redefine “the bottom line” you are trying to achieve with investing.  If you are no longer singularly concerned with financial returns but also social returns, then you are taking a “double-bottom line” approach toward investing.

  1. Where can my subscribers connect with you?

Go to RedefiningFinancialFreedom.com or email me at chad_ham@msn.com

 

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“Under New Management” [Author Interview]

David Burkus is the author of the new book, Under New Management. He is host of the Radio Free Leader podcast and associate professor of management at Oral Roberts University. Please visit his website at www.davidburkus.com.

 

(JLH) One of my personal heroes is Peter F. Drucker, the man whom Businessweek called the “Father of Modern Management”. How, if at all, do you see Drucker’s teaching on management by objectives, executive effectiveness, building on strengths, and reducing the salary compensation of C-level leaders down to a more reasonable and fair amount, related to the techniques you discuss in Under New Management?

(DB) I see a pretty big connection. Drucker was a visionary who coined the shift from industrial to knowledge work and predicts it scaling. There’s a reason we call him the father of “modern” management. In contrast, Fredrick Taylor being the father of scientific management. That older thinking is really what I take aim at in my book. We made the shift from industrial to knowledge but we took Taylor’s management with us. Drucker laid a foundation for modern management, executives and entrepreneurial leaders started to experiment with new ideas, researchers also experimented with organizational psychologies principles. The hope is that Under New Management summarizes and blends a lot of the wisdom from all of these pioneers.

 

(JLH) You have achieved a great deal of recognition for your contribution to management, including writing for the Harvard Business Review and Forbes, and being listed on the “On the Radar” category of the 2016 Thinkers50. What do you attribute your earned success and notoriety too?

(DB) You know, Drucker loved the phrase “opportunity favors the prepared mind.” We’re in the midst of a huge shift in connectivity for the whole world and it’s giving voice to a lot of people. I’m grateful to be one of them and I’m hoping to do my part to continue to invite others into the conversation.

 

(JLH) You’re an associate professor of management at Oral Roberts University, an interdenominational Christian school, that while recognized in 2012 by the Princeton Review as one of 123 institutions in the ‘Best in the West” regional ranking, isn’t necessarily known for its business college, like say Sloan at MIT, Ross at Michigan, Wharton at Pennsylvania, or Tuck at Dartmouth. Yet, you are a best-selling author and award-winning podcaster. Is it your personal platform, your work in the classroom, or some combination of both, that has helped you reach a broader audience than just at ORU?

(DB) I think it’s again part of that shift. I’m proud of my work with ORU and, while it’s not a “brand name” school I think that forced me to thinking differently about how to get a message heard…and that led me to the aforementioned shift.

 

(JLH) What advice would you have for graduate students, or millennial leaders considering transitioning into a business or managerial professorship?

(DB) I’d say build a platform independent of your university, whether you’re a doctoral student or already in a faculty role. Your research is important, absolutely, but it’s also about what managers can do with your research. That part likely won’t be covered by the journal you publish in, so it’s on you to write about how leaders can use what you’ve researched.

 

(JLH) How important is it for an author to begin building their own platform?

(DB) I’m not a big fan of the term “platform” because people aren’t planks. You build an audience by sharing and giving. The larger that audience the more they can help you share your message (providing you’re giving valuable content). I don’t know that I would try and launch a book without one, so I’d look to blogs, podcasts, or other publications you can write for to refine your craft but also to build an audience.

 

(JLH) How did you work your way into being a contributor for HBR and Forbes?

(DB) I wrote…a lot. I made friends with people who wrote. Eventually they noticed.

 

(JLH) Of the best-practices you take aim at in Under New Management, which one or ones were you most surprised by in your research?

(DB) Salary transparency. I expected to research it and come down in favor or privacy and transparency. But the research was overwhelming. Salary secrecy hurts employees and does productivity damage to the organization. It’s not worth it. Sure, it feels uncomfortable sharing what you get paid, but it’s a lot more uncomfortable to wonder if you’re being discriminated against, or compensated fairly, or even appreciated for your contribution.

 

(JLH) Where do you see management’s next uncharted territory?

(DB) I’m looking into the larger ecosystem. Every company exists in a larger network of vendors, suppliers, customers, and competitors and where you embed yourself in that ecosystem and how you move through it dramatically effects the business. I’m interested in looking more into that.

 

(JLH) You teach courses on strategic leadership at Oral Roberts. What is the biggest issue(s) CEO’s need to be aware of, or at least consider in today’s tumultuous business environment?

(DB) “Great leaders don’t innovate the product, they innovate the factory.” This was true when Fredrick Taylor started reinventing physical factories. It was true when Peter Drucker started describe the shift from factory to office. And it’s true now. Leaders need to take a deep look at their organization and how they can better design it to give their people the autonomy and resources they need to bring value to the organization. Innovative products and services always follow innovative management. That’s the core idea of Under New Management.

 

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Is Your Workforce Engaged? [Guest Post]

According to a recent Gallup study, a mere 30 percent of the workforce is engaged. So if 30 percent of employees are engaged, 70 percent are disengaged. Additional research by Gallup reveals that engaged workers are the most innovative.

As if motivating employees weren’t enough of a challenge, today’s workforce dynamics are more complex than ever before. Five generations are represented in most organizations, with Baby Boomers and Millennials comprising the two largest in number. Many Boomers have delayed their retirements because they cannot afford to stop working or because they prefer to work. These difficult decisions affect their career goals and the organization’s succession planning goals, too. And Millennials as a whole have introduced additional nuances to the world of work, including a desire for greater work-life balance and flexibility, technology savvy, and a more collaborative work style.

How can you engage employees who have very personal and unique motivation factors? How do you communicate your organization’s vision effectively and gain buy-in from such a diverse workforce?

As you may know too well, if you don’t engage them, you won’t keep them. Employee retention is another challenge leaders are dealing with today, especially as younger generations of employees are more inclined to move on from an organization after only several years on the job, in search of more challenging or meaningful work.

CTDO magazine understands the complexities of the workforce challenges you face as a leader. This free, quarterly, digital magazine is dedicated to addressing these big-picture issues and their underlying causes and providing practical, solutions-based content for you. Read more in the Spring 2016 CTDO.

*****

Ann Parker is manager of the Human Capital Community of Practice and the Senior Leaders & Executives Community of Practice at ATD. Prior to this position, she worked at ATD for five years in an editorial capacity, primarily for TD magazine, and most recently as a senior writer and editor. In this role, Ann had the privilege to talk to many training and development practitioners, hear from a variety of prominent industry thought leaders, and develop a rich understanding of the profession’s content. Visit Chief Talent Development Officer Magazine.

CTDO magazine

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Desks on Wheels: How Valve Software’s Manager-less Structure Creates Productivity [Guest Post]

This original post was inspired by concepts from chapter twelve of Under New Management. A company with no managers or job descriptions. It sounds like a recipe for chaos, but Valve Software has used this fluid structure to become immensely successful, relying on the strength of its people and their own sense of accountability to maximize productivity and create growth.

Desks on Wheels: How Valve Software’s Manager-less Structure Creates Productivity

To most business professionals, the idea of firing your managers doesn’t sound counterintuitive, it sounds insane. However some of the most successful companies do in fact run manager-less, while others have found ways to push some of the management function down to the level of those who are being managed. In either case, more and more leaders are discovering that employees are most productive and engaged when they control their own destiny.

Employees at Valve Software don’t have to take orders from ‘the boss.’

That’s because, at the Bellevue, Washington–based company, there are no bosses to give orders.

Valve is a company with no managers. They don’t believe in managers, or job descriptions. When new people join the company, they rotate around on various projects, talk to lots of people, and then decide which project (or projects) to jump into full-time.

“My observation is that it takes new hires about six months before they fully accept that no one is going to tell them what to do, that no manager is going to give them a review, that there is no such thing as a promotion or a job title or even a fixed role,” wrote Valve employee Michael Abrash on the company’s blog. “That it is their responsibility, and theirs alone, to allocate the most valuable resource in the company — their time — by figuring out what it is that they can do that is most valuable for the company, and then to go do it.”

Valve isn’t just a small handful of programmers working in a garage either. The company was founded in 1996 by Mike Harrington and Gabe Newell. Both were former Microsoft employees who decided to partner together. The company grew organically and quickly based on the success of its critically acclaimed game series Half-Life, a six-game series that made a significant impact on the industry and won more than fifty game-of-the-year awards.

That success was followed up by other successful franchises and the release of Steam, an online distribution portal for video games that accounts for an estimated 70 percent of all video home sales worldwide. The company has grown dramatically from the original partnership to more than 400 people.

Ordinarily, that type of growth would require a fairly rigid hierarchy to manage everyone and keep them working in the right direction. But Harrington and Newell don’t see it that way. “We thought about what the company needed to be good at,” Newell said. “We realized that here, our job was to create things that hadn’t existed before. Managers are good at institutionalizing procedures, but in our line of work, that’s not always good.”

So Harrington and Newell chose to ignore the traditional structure and to build something that would allow innovative and talented people to thrive. According to Valve’s employee handbook:

<>When you’re an entertainment company that’s spent the last decade going out of its way to recruit the most intelligent, innovative, talented people on Earth, telling them to sit at a desk and do what they’re told obliterates 99 percent of their value. We want innovators, and that means maintaining an environment where they’ll flourish.<>

In fact, what Valve employees work on changes so much each day that every employee’s desk is equipped with wheels and organized such that only two cords need to be unplugged before it can be rolled to wherever it’s needed in the shop. “The mobility within the corporation is a great asset, and everybody recognizes that,” said Yanis Varoufakis, an economist from the University of Athens who used to work as Valve’s economist-in-residence.

There are lots of people, however, to tell them what they could do. Since Valve has no managers, all projects are started by an individual employee or a group pitching an idea and then recruiting a team. If enough people join the group, the project starts. Sometimes an individual employee is referred to as the ‘leader’ for a project, but everyone knows that this simply means that this person is keeping track of all of the information and organizing what’s being done — not giving orders.

There are also lots of people to tell employees how they’re doing. Valve may not have managers, but it does have a performance management system in place. Just like the work itself, the system works on a peer basis. A designated set of employees interview everyone in the company and ask who they’ve worked with since the last peer review session. They ask about their experiences working with each person. That feedback is collected and anonymized, and then every employee is given a report on their peers’ experiences working with them.

A similar, but separate, system is also used to determine compensation. Each project group is asked to rank the members of the group based on four factors: skill level, productivity, group contribution, and product contribution. Once all that information is collected, Valve applies a series of calculations that place each employee in a compensation bracket.

Valve also empowers all of its employees to make hiring decisions, which it describes as “the most important thing in the universe.” Valve attributes the success of its organizational design to hiring the smartest, most innovative, and most talented people it can find. Making sure that it continues to hire only high-caliber people is vital to keeping the system working. The company’s handbook reminds employees, “Any time you interview a potential hire, you need to ask yourself not only if they’re talented or collaborative but also if they’re capable of literally running this company, because they will be.”

The leaders of companies like Valve have discovered something that researchers have known for decades: when individuals feel free to determine what they’re working on or how they work, they’re more motivated, more loyal and more productive. While Valve’s almost free-form structure may not be ideal for every company, the lessons learned here about improved productivity and engagement are of use to all.

*****

David Burkus is the author of the forthcoming Under New Management. He is host of the Radio Free Leader podcast and associate professor of management at Oral Roberts University. Please visit his website at www.davidburkus.com.

leaders factors over products_UNM Burkus

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Does Your Business Model Need to Make a Shift In Its Management? [Book Review]

 

under new management

Author David Burkus is a rising star in a new generation of management guru’s. He is a best-selling author, an award-winning podcaster, and an associate professor of management at Oral Roberts University. He is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review and Forbes, and a consultant to all kinds of organizations, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, Burkus is also listed on the 2016 “On the Radar” category for the Thinkers50 global ranking of management thinkers.

In his new book Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as Usual, Burkus tackles long held assumptions of the marketplace and explains what really works for getting the right thigs done in this new information age. Beginning with an introduction, that mentions Frederick Taylor’s scientific management, a system of thought that dominated the industrial revolution, Burkus goes on to explain how business, along with the rest of the world, has experienced rapid change at all levels of commerce and the marketplace.

Using corporate examples such as Carnegie Steel, Whole Foods, Zappos, and Netflix among others, Burkus presents a new way of thinking that is much more representative of the globally interconnected, technology driven, and creatively unique style of business in our current modern age.

Targeting assumed “best-practices” related to email, hiring, performance appraisals, teamwork, and professional burnout amid other highly relevant topics, Burkus turns traditional wisdom on its head, and offers a new, and in many ways, artistic style of business and leadership for the 21st Century.

Throughout his book, Burkus quotes various research, shares personal observations, and mentions the ideas of management icons like Gary Hamel, Howard Shultz, Herb Kelleher, and my personal hero, Peter Drucker, known as the “Father of Modern Management” –a very different, yet related, form of the “new” management that Burkus describes.

Additionally the author shows his cultural awareness by referencing as diverse examples as former megachurch pastor, Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill church in Seattle, Washington, to the TED movement, consulting giant, McKinsey & Company, Stanford Business School, the Gallup research organization, and Microsoft.

Two of my favorite chapters, include, Chapter 4: Pay People to Quit. Where the concept of paying recruits and new hires to leave the company, an innovate practice made popular by Zappos and adopted by other companies, illustrates the priority of creating the right culture for Zappos, a personal mission, and perhaps borderline paranoia, of CEO Tony Hsieh.

The other insight comes from Chapter 12: Fire the Managers, in which the thesis is that “Managerless Means Everyone is a Manager”. I especially enjoyed this axiom because it highlights the need for empowerment and cultivating employee responsibility. When everyone is a “manager”, team members have instilled within them a special kind of ownership for their work that is reflected in a true commitment to each other as well as an understanding of how their activities contribute to the organization’s overall purpose, thus eliminating the micromanager or business dictator boss we all hate.

Other paradigm busting insights include prioritizing employees over customers, eliminating time wasters and redundant maintenance, and being open about salary information.

For readers who are sick and tired of the traditional command and control mantra of old management and resonate with the collaborative and culturally creative style of teaching, similar to authors and thought leaders like Dan Ariely, Adam Grant, and Dan Pink, then Under New Management will be right up their alley. An insightful and engaging book, which I can’t recommend highly enough.

adam grant endorsement, Under New Man.

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A Life Plan to Keep You Moving Forward [Book Review]

I have been a longtime fan of both Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy for some time now. Michael, the former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, is the guru of gurus for productivity hacking, permission marketing, and building an online platform, a reference to the title of his most recent book, which was a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller. His blog is one of the most visited in the world, ranked by Google as in the top one-half percent across the internet. Through his podcast, “This is Your Life”, Michael regularly shares life changing content with his listeners. Daniel Harkavy, Michael’s long-time friend and coach, is the founder and CEO of Building Champions, a premier executive coaching firm he started in 1996. His previous book Becoming a Coaching Leader provided an exceptionally practical and paradigm shifting model for coaching, that I greatly benefited from.

In the duo’s new book, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want (Baker Books, 2016), the two authors combine their vast array of experience to offer readers a step-by-step action plan for turning their dreams into reality. With endorsements from fellow peak performance and productivity coaches like Tony Robbins, David Allen, Darren Hardy, and Dan Miller, as well as thought leaders like John Maxwell, Seth Godin, Andy Andrews, Dave Ramsey, Henry Cloud, and Max Lucado, the professional praise runs deep for this new roadmap, or a compass if you will, for planning not just your career, but offering a holistic and practical plan for creating the life you truly want.

In addition to the proprietary material shared, the authors also make reference to Benjamin Franklin’s historically famous “Thirteen Essential Virtues”, which includes topics like frugality, sincerity, and tranquility, as well as the work of previous life plan and S.W.O.T. systems, to show the effectiveness of how having a thought-out process for establishing and reaching goals, can lead to both success and significance.

The “Three Powerful Questions” asked as a way to structure the book’s content, include the personal inquiries:

How do I want to be remembered?

What matters most?

How can I get from here to where I want to be?

These questions help the reader to, as the late Stephen Covey made popular, “begin with the end in mind”, thus keeping the theme of legacy at the forefront.

Additionally, an opening metaphor of how a personal GPS can turn good intention into right action, with passionate conviction and encouraging motivation, sets the stage for the remaining chapters, and sheds personal insights to the lives and struggles of the authors.

Furthermore, each chapter begins with an inspiring quote by well-known success stories such as J.P. Morgan, Thomas Carlyle, King Solomon, and Andy Warhol. The quotes themselves reflect a critical piece of the Life Plan process. Setting S.M.A.R.T goals, defined as specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound, are another major part of the Life Plan procedure.

In particular, I especially enjoyed the Nine Basic Life Accounts, categorized by The Circle of Being, listing the spiritual, physical, and intellectual self; The Circle of Relating, where interpersonal connections like marital, parental, and social relationships exist; and The Circle of Doing: where we live out our vocation, avocational hobbies, and see financial returns. The authors recommend a writing a short Life Plan for each of the nine accounts described and provide a number of real-life examples to help illustrate the final outcome.

Finally, I think perhaps the most valuable piece of the book for me, was Hyatt and Harkavy’s description of the Life Assessment Profile TM. Lift, Drift, Shift, and Gift: the four quadrants that run along the “passion” vertical alignment and the “progress” horizontal axis, provide the reader with a visual for understanding where they currently are. The key Hyatt and Harkavy state, is to live in the “Gift” zone. This is the upper-right hand corner of the quadrant, where both passion and progress are high. In the Gift zone, the emotional feelings are satisfaction and gratitude. This is where life is both meaningful and enjoyable.

Beneficial for people at every life stage, including business leaders stuck in “half-time”, second career professionals in transition, or college graduates just beginning their journey into the “real world”, if read and applied, Living Forward has the potential to make sure you are staying true to your due north and allows the reader grace and practicality for making course corrections along the way.

Truly raising the bar and setting a new standard in the field of self-help and personal growth literature, Living Forward is one of the best books I have read that can actually help people get from where they are, to where they want to be.

 

Living Forward

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What Will You Do? [Guest Post]

John Perkins was Chief Economist at a major international consulting firm where he advised the World Bank, United Nations, the IMF, U.S. Treasury Department, Fortune 500 corporations, and governments in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Since then, his books have sold more than 1 million copies and been printed in over 30 languages.  He has been featured on ABC, NBC, CNN, NPR, A&E, the History Channel, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Der Spiegel, and many other publications. He is a founder and board member of Dream Change and The Pachamama Alliance, nonprofits devoted to establishing a world our children will want to inherit. His new book, The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, can be found on Amazon.

*****

It has been nearly twelve years since the release of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. People have wondered how the publication of that book has affected me and what I am doing to redeem myself and change the EHM system. They have also questioned what they themselves can do to help turn the system around. The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is my answer.

Once I left my old life as an economic hit man, I knew I had to do whatever I could to redeem myself for my sins and to make a world my daughter and all children would want to inherit. I asked: What can I do? Now it is time for you to ask the same question. Your gifts, passions, and skills have given you the tools you need to create a better world. Will you? I hope you enjoy this short glimpse into chapter 46 of the book and the events that became my confessions.

I’d like say a special thanks to Joshua Lee Henry for his support of my new release and for his willingness to post this on his blog. I hope you’ll connect with me on Twitter and Facebook!

What Will You Do?

This book has described the four pillars of modern empire: fear, debt, insufficiency (the temptation to keep consuming more), and the divide-and-conquer mind-set. The idea that anything and everything is justified—coups and assassinations, drone strikes, NSA eavesdropping—as long as it props up those four pillars has shackled us to a feudal and corrupt system. It is a system that cannot be sustained.

We must do whatever it takes to change the dream behind such justifications; to convert fear into the courage to create a better world; to replace debt with generosity, insufficiency with the knowledge that a life economy provides sustainable abundance for all; and to replace the divide-and-conquer mentality with compassion for others and a commitment to uniting as a crew that will navigate this space station toward a truly prosperous future.

During my travels, one of the things I hear from people is that Confessions of an Economic Hit Man “connects the dots.” In 2004, those dots led to the conclusion that people had been terribly misinformed about how the United States and its corporations deceive, abuse, and exploit economically developing countries. The post-2004 dots go much further. They lead us to the conclusion that we in the United States and in the rest of the so-called developed countries also have been hit—we have been abused and exploited by many of the tools I and other EHMs used in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Connecting the post-2004 dots leads to the additional conclusion that we must do whatever it takes to change. We must act.

Such actions start with the recognition that we are presented with many choices throughout life. Fate. Chance. Accident. Opportunity. We can see these things as good or bad. What is important is not so much that they happen as how we react to them.

I once accepted $500,000 to not write a book. I chose to use the money to help people in countries I’d exploited. Out of that came my reconnection with Amazonian people, the formation of several nonprofits, and a new career as a writer and public speaker.

When we look at things that happen to us as neither good nor bad but simply as bearers of messages, we open doors of opportunity for action.

The earth is offering us a strong message. The ice caps and glaciers are melting. The oceans are rising. Species are going extinct. This planet, our home, is demanding that we see her as a living Earth. She is not just a mass of rock and soil spinning around an indifferent sun. She is a biological member of a living universe. And she is sending a message: repent, reform, love her.

What will we do with that message, you and I?

****

During the 12 years since the publication of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, the world has changed radically. I am excited to share with you how economic hit men and jackal assassins have spread to the U.S. and the rest of the planet and what we all can do to stop them and to create a better world. The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is an expanded and updated edition that includes 15 explosive new chapters. It also provides detailed strategies each and every one of us can employ to avert the crises looming before us. To learn more please visit http://www.johnperkins.org, and join me in moving not just into ‘sustainability’ but also into ‘regenerating’ devastated environments.

 

 

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