About the Book
Create Amazing is the seminal book today promoting employee ownership as America's most important tool to solve the current and quickly expanding injustice of wealth disparity in America.
It is a Field Guide for the reader into WHY, WHAT, WHO and HOW Employee Stock Ownership Plans can make America better for the individual, the firm and, most importantly, for our country.
The answer for both is yes. Economic Conservatives like me, love that fact that economic justice can be earned, not given. Social Liberals, also me, love the fact that ESOPs solve wealth disparity, encourage worker participation and create great places to work.
Which Political Party likes ESOPs?
My good buddy and former CFO Denny Scott used to tell me that if there are 7000 ESOPs in America there are probably 1000 different organizational charts. This is not exactly how we organized at Burns & McDonnell but it would be a good place for a new ESOP to start.
Typical ESOP Organization
In Create Amazing, Greg takes you through the career of ‘Manuel’ and one hypothetical example of what an ESOP can do for its workers. The Manuel example can be conservative within a well run ESOP over a career. Manuel, as you can see, will be enjoying a terrific retirement.
One Employee Owners Makes Good
The Productivity Dilemma
No country has benefitted from productivity gains more than America. The dilemma is as capitalism drives productivity, it become more and more capital intensive vs the income from labor perspective. This drives the wealth disparity in the wrong direction. Employee Ownership, by its very definition, is the perfect solution.
In Create Amazing, Greg Graves argues persuasively that employee ownership - done the right way, and for the right reasons - can be a catalytic force for economic prosperity and corporate endurance. Drawing upon deep, practical experience as CEO of an employee-owned company, he lays out the what, the why, and the how of sparking an ownership mindset with an ESOP. Leaders who seek to fill their companies with people passionately engaged in the business for a very long time would do well to consider what Graves has to teach.
Author Good to Great
Key Parts to
Because you know that while our nation was founded chiefly on the ideal of a free society, its economic might and advantage were built on the inherent reality that ‘landowners’ (nowadays read: all owners) will out-engage, out-innovate, and in every conceivable way out-perform their non-owner competitors. Because America’s retirement challenge is upon us . . . because American exceptionalism needs a booster shot…and because economic justice should no longer wait.
The American Employee Stock Ownership Plan—thank you, Dr. Louis Kelso and Senator Russell Long—allows the workers of any firm, private or public, to share in the opportunity for wealth creation both through the contribution of their labor and through capital investment from future earnings by considering them owners. American ESOPs are made up of both very small and mega U.S companies and occur across a multitude of industries. While there are some employers who are not conducive, the potential employee ownership pool is nearly 100,000,000 Americans.
The very best employee owners are not followers but they are believers. They are collaborators not caring who gets the credit. They are financially responsible yet motivated. They have high expectations for their boss, their firm, and for themselves. They think in the long run. They hustle and are customer-focused. They are a diverse representation of the American melting pot. They are proud of where they work. They are ready for accelerated leadership in a world of exponentially faster growth.
By going 100%
By getting to WHOA! as fast as possible
By using financial diversity tools to de-risk
By hiring ‘owners’
By communicating with your people like the shareholders they are
By treating employees like the owners they are
By paying for performance
By promoting from within 99.9% of the time
By being the very best fiduciary possible
By surrounding yourself with the right board, legal, and trustee experts
By being the very best place to work
Only in America
The theories on employee ownership and economic justice are certainly not germane to America or Americans. But, like so many things in this nation’s history, we are in a unique position to capture these advantages in a greater and more profound way. It is the advantage of a nation that was born of genius, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the pursuit of happiness. So now, before we conclude, see how some of history’s greatest communicators viewed the American experience.