My last book (Love Leadership: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World) focused on 'love and fear,' but my next book (How the Poor Can Save Capitalism) will focus on 'fear and aspiration.'

The world and world leaders trade continuously in the space of love and fear, but people respond to incentives, and the biggest ones are fear and aspiration.  But to get someone to 'move' away from possibly damaging behavior, the impact of that fear must be immediate and overwhelming. In other words, you cannot say 'don't smoke that cigarette, you are going to die. It will kill you.'  The average person, and particularly a young people, will respond, 'will it kill me today, or tomorrow?'  If not, the likelihood is they will just keep on smoking. The fear, is not powerful enough to get them to change their behavior.

But aspiration, or said more scientifically, people's behavioral economics, that creates and inspires almost immediate changes in behavior.  Also, people are willing to wait for the long-term benefits that aspiration brings. They are not prepared to put off the behavior that may be already bringing them short term joys or a sense of pleasure, because of purported fear.


John Hope Bryant is an entrepreneur, author, advisor, and one of the nation's most recognized empowerment leader.  He is the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, The Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), the only African-American bestselling business author in America, and is chairman of the Subcommittee for the Under-Served and Community Empowerment for the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, for President Barack Obama.  Mr. Bryant is the co-founder of the Gallup-HOPE Index, the only national research poll on youth financial dignity and youth economic energy in the U.S.


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