November 26, 2008

Book Review: Billionaire Richard Branson challenges Business to Step Up—and in the process, inspires one man to reach help one million men.

As a man, I’m always on the look out for men that inspire me. These days, other than Obama, I’m not too impressed. Look around. The Patriarchy is dying (hopefully). Few famous or well-known men inspire me toward my own greatness. But, here’s one man who touched a big chord in me and might in you…

Recently I finished reading billionaire Richard Branson’s new book “Business Stripped Bare.” This hilarious, at times controversial visionary and business tycoon is a true bad ass. Most folks know him as the guy that started Virgin Records. He is the only person on the planet to have started eight billion-dollar companies in eight different sectors. Squat? That’s right, 8 companies that each make more than one billion dollars. Yikes!

After reading the book, I was inspired beyond words. In my elation, I made a commitment to reach and inspire 1 million men to step up and go beyond any status quo, limiting beliefs about themselves, and to give their gifts to their families, their communities and the world. Did I just share that publicly? Yup. Hold me to it people (and Join my Facebook group revolutionary men).

So, what could one man possibly do with all that money? Aside from owning his own island, he’s reinvesting it in his business on such ventures as private spacecraft trips to the moon and investing millions into bio-fuel technology for his airline business Virgin Atlantic. He is making a MASSIVE difference in the world. This guy got Nelson Mandela and the Dali Lama (two other incredibly inspiring men) to meet privately in a room and when invited to come in and spend time with them, he opted out saying, “I felt it should be a special occasion between two inspirational people, and that no one else should be present.” Wow…

Branson and musician Peter Gabriel had the idea to start a “Council of Elders,” comprising of 12 men and women who “are a group of immensely influential world figures acting like entrepreneurs who use their moral courage, wisdom and independent leadership…They are generally all over sixty years of age, and beyond ego. Their mission statement says that the Elders’ role is to work to resolve global issues and alleviate human suffering.” Branson and Gabriel asked Nelson Mandela and his wife Graca to pick the other 10 men and women to be on the council. Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, Ela Bhatt, and Aung San Suu Kyi were but a few in the first year. The council meets a few times a year on Branson’s island to do their work.

It is immensely refreshing see a man of such power and privilege doing such extraordinary things. This book is well beyond a business book. In Branson’s own words, “This isn’t so much business advice as a call to arms.” I agree and I’m off to change the world. Join me in making a difference.

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