Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The New Radicals?

I have just finished the book “The New Radicals” (www.wearethenewradicals.com) by Julia Moulden. After listening to a CBC program, my wife suggested that I read it and report to the blog readers. As a wise husband and having a great deal of respect for my wife’s insights, here I go.

Julia Moulden is a Canadian “consultant who counsels clients in search of more meaningful career paths, helps you determine if you are ready to follow their example and offers her expert guidance on how to make the transition to your new career.”

The book, “A Manifesto for Reinventing Yourself and Saving the World”, is a series of stories about people who have transitioned how they make their daily bread and are also making a difference in the world. It is aimed at Boomers.

Each chapter tackles one of nine most important questions New Radicals ask themselves during their journey. Julia then shares the answers she gathered from interviewing members of the group she calls the New Radicals. Sample questions (chapters) are:-Are you a New Radical? What do you have to offer? What does the world need? Are you ready? She has a CODA at the end of the book which has a list of questions which expand on the chapter titles.

It is a cleverly done book. She has drawn on the desire of the Boomers to improve themselves and added another title to the huge self help section of many boomer libraries. Moulden has taken a “coaching” approach by asking a series of directed questions with the purpose of getting the readers to become New Radicals. These are people who become “Activists, Entrepreneurs or Innovators” by reinventing what they do in order to reflect their values and make a difference in the world. She gives many examples in each chapter of people who have already taken this path. It is an interesting, possibly an inspiring read. Many of us in the coaching, continuous learning world have seen this before The book is an expanded version of gap analysis: - Where are you? Where do you want to go? What do you have to do to get there?

It seems to me that we have had an overwhelming urge to make ourselves better, brighter, stronger, healthier, richer, etc, from the time we started school. With the influence of the 60’s we have also had a drive to make the world a better place. We did not trust anyone over 30 because they had already screwed up the world by creating wars, prolonging segregation and playing bad music (anything pre Elvis) (I have matured and now enjoy my Jazz and Blues collection) This begs the question- “Have we made a difference since we reached that magic age of 30?” The real answer is a resounding YES! Look at the repealing of segregation laws, the equal pay legislation, Pay Equity legislation, and the social change movements. At the same time as we near what has traditionally been retirement age, we ask “What can we do, want to do or are willing to do now?” that we have the time energy and resources to make that difference. I know that I am preaching to the choir when I say that we are not a group that intends to go the traditional route of retirement. I mean the myth that retirees play golf and bridge, go to the Doctor’s office, move south with the rest of the Snow Birds and generally stay busy with others of their age group. I know that many current retirees volunteer to get things done in the not-for-profit economy and accomplish great things. I do believe that we have the will, the gifts, the talent, the expertise the desire and definitely the maturity to apply ourselves to transforming how people interact and raise the overall well being of the world’s population, while at the same time adding a few bucks to the coffers, especially needed if you left work in the past couple of years.

In conclusion I suggest that you may want to become a New Radical and add to your net worth as you become the catalyst in transforming the world.

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