In the book Leadershift, the fictional characters of Mr. President, Josh, and James have a great view to the solutions to the 5 Laws of Decline. It seems like they are sitting on top of the world looking down at us. However, they say, “The solutions are us!” Doesn’t it seem to always come back to what motivates us as the reason why we move from mediocrity? In Leadershift the authors write to reverse the decline we must release the passion inside each of us. Profit is typically an entry point for motivation because many people are driven by what profit potential can provide. This is where the LIFE business comes into play. There is a passion within us. We just need to learn how to release it.
You can see how the 5 Laws of Decline can lead down a long and winding road where we find ourselves not living up to our potential. The majority of our society connects success to credentials or positional authority. Authors Orrin Woodward and Oliver DeMille describe this as "leading to a consuming and unrewarding trail." One reason is that people on this trail typically get caught up in viewing everything as a “stepping stone”. It comes back to the real key to success, “wisdom”. One thing about wisdom is that it must be experienced or you really won’t know it. Success comes from experience and is often at the tail end of trials and challenges. However, once people achieve a level of wisdom that leads to success, they crave more of it. This ties directly into leadership because wisdom is the cornerstone to influence. The more experience the more the wisdom the more success and so on. Apply this ingredient to our personal, professional and business lives.
The 5 Laws of Decline are in evidence everywhere we look. The authors site it as a by - product of our fallen nature. Decline can set into our personal, professional, or spiritual lives. Take a look at sports in a different context next time you watch. When a team goes down by several points they pick up their intensity and focus and begin to claw their way back. I think, “If they had that potential all along why didn’t they perform that way to begin with?” Leaders rely on a scoreboard because it helps measure what we are capable of. The authors describe how leaders rise to the top 10% as Sturgeons Law. Our fallen nature develops a tendency to coast. This limits us from achieving our true potential only until something ignites our inner passion.
You can find evidence of the 5 Laws of Decline throughout history. They are directly tied into the fall of every civilization. For example, let’s take a look at the French Revolution. There, you will see an incompetent government begin to manipulate the currency after John Law persuaded them that he could restore the French industry from depression. Incidently, the depression was started from government corruption in the first place. Years later after an economy spiraling out of control the government had to resort to price controls. Professor Milton Friedman wrote, “To cure a disease temporary in its character, a corrosive poison was administered which ate out the vitals of French prosperity… It ended in the complete financial, moral, and political prostration of France.” Economic professor Hans F. Sennholz added this valuable insight about business cycles (5 Laws of Decline). “In each case, Government had generated a boom through easy money and credit, which was soon followed by the inevitable bust… The spectacular crash of 1929 followed five years of reckless credit expansion by the Federal Reserve System under the Coolidge Administration.” Orrin and Oliver write that the 5 Laws of decline show up almost universally through history.
All of us can learn how to remedy the 5 Laws of Decline. The authors use the word turn "toward" instead of "turnaround". The remedy is simple but requires effort. The answers are there. It’s called local leadership. We need local involvement just as our Constitution relied on local leaders to guide them. Most of us have given authority to 'others’ in power. There is a prevalent thinking in our society that we are just a cog in a wheel. When people are provided a way to become compensated with their leadership influence as in the LIFE business they begin to perform. There are always leaders moving into the 10% as an example of what is possibe. Leaders begin to read, listen, associate and perform. Inevitably, local leadership develops. The fictional character, Marcus, describes where author “Seth Godin wrote about the emergence of many new – style tribes in our modern world, and Malcolm Gladwell teaches that our society is made up of unofficial connectors and mavens who use the Internet and personal relationships to spread important information.” Influence will move back to local people when local and state leaders begin to become more directly involved.
In the book Leadershift the authors give examples of leaders who choose to change the direction of the 5 Laws of Decline as it crept in. The authors describe great leaders like Lincoln, Churchill and Ghandi who turned away from the tendency to use credentials to impress and led instead. There are many success stories throughout history. Reading history and the classics are one piece to restoration because you can see it’s all been done before. Urakagina of Lagash in 2350 BC developed the first documented system where the people of Sumer could choose to reverse the decline by becoming informed. Under his leadership he provided a method where the written word was spread among the people. This led to the sweeping away of the bureaucracy and developing an honest system of currency. The authors finish the Leadershift book with, “I have come to the conclusion that the syndrome repeats itself because human beings act in ignorance and therefore in unconscious defiance of certain natural laws and principles.” Who is ready to take the first step toward reversing the decline? God Bless, George Guzzardo