I was sitting with a major CEO of a major company recently (as in a household name company), and after sharing with him the mostly untold story of the Freedman's Bank, and President Abraham Lincoln's unfinished agenda of empowering freed slaves with financial literacy, 40 acres and a mule, and access to capital, he sat there for a moment in what I can only describe as stunned silence.
After hearing the complete story, which I summarize in today's LinkedIn Influencers post, and go into much greater contextual detail in my upcoming book, HOW THE POOR CAN SAVE CAPITALISM (Berrett-Koehler Publishing), this CEO said to me "John, if Lincoln had not been killed within 2 weeks of creating the Freedman's Bank, and this policy had actually succeeded — then I would be the rap star today!"
This analogy takes a little bit to digest and understand, but it is really deep once you do. This is no dig on being a rapper, but it is a powerful synopsis of how major players in business and power, see whose got real business power.
We have to do more, reach higher, expand our horizon, and look for opportunities to expand opportunity for all.
John Hope Bryant is the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and is the only 2010-2012 bestselling business author in America who is also African-American. His newest book, due out May, 2014, is HOW THE POOR CAN SAVE CAPITALISM, and will be published byBerrett Koehler Publishing).