Pendulum: How Past Generations Shape Our Present and Predict Our Future

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This week we have one of the premiere book promoters and consultants, Michael Drew. He has a new book, Pendulum: How Past Generations Shape our Present and Predict our Future. This groundbreaking book is going to make anybody who is trying to build a business platform, a superstar.

Marketing books for his entire career, Michael has become the world’s most successful book promoter. He has launched nearly 75 consecutive books on the best seller list, many of them No. 1 titles. Michael has honed his skills at such respected publishers as Bard Press, Entrepreneurs Press, Longstreet Press, Thomas Nelson Publishers, among others. He has mastered the intricacies of publishing and adapting to today’s fast evolving industry.

Michael has founded Promote A Book to work directly with writers to help them spread their message.  Michael has also helped writers, authors, thought leaders, speakers and entrepreneurs build upon an essential component of continuing success by creating a platform for their writing and their message so that they can expand their audience and adapt to social shifts. Through Michael’s skills in website creation, his strengths as a speaker, his career coaching, and in his innovative use of personas to intensify the effectiveness of all sorts of writing, Michael has been a force in the creation of a new generation of thought leaders.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Michael Drew, who is going to be on the show with us today, is somebody who has actually helped me in my career. I know that he has helped so many other people in their careers. I think our listeners are going to learn a lot today about what they can do, as you and I like to say, making small micro-changes and initiatives in their thinking that are going to have macro-improvement in what they are trying to achieve long term.

Michael is somebody that I have had the good fortune of working with for several years now. In fact, Michael has been not only a key component of our team at H2C, Happy Companies = Healthy People, but he will be coming on board to work with us on our new book series called Fearless Leaders, by myself and author TC North.

One of the things that Michael Drew is best known for is being a maverick who gets results, marketing books for his entire career. Beyond merely helping authors books to sell well, Michael has benefited from these writers insights into many different social trends. He himself has observed up close the shifting dynamics of society as his work on Pendulum will tell us today.

He has seen first-hand the rapid and long term changes in the publishing industry and how content reaches today’s varied audiences in many different ways. He is going to talk about how looking at you as a writer, looking at you and your audience together, how you can really hone those content principles and how you can actually reach your audiences more effectively to draw the audience towards the content that you would like them to hear and thus create a book that fits everyone.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Michael we would like to get a quick background about who has been most influential for you as we talk about leaders and leader’s influence.

Michael Drew:  My co-author on my book, Roy H. Williams, has probably had the greatest impact on my career to date. He is known as the “wizard of ads” and 14 years ago when I was the age of 19, he was my first author that I marketed to New York Times Best Seller status. I would have to say that his influence on me has been the greatest influence that I have ever had. His influence has led to all of the philosophies that I apply in marketing a business, including the creation and use of the persona architecture process. Not to say the least of which obviously, is the book we have written together, Pendulum.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Is this the first book that you and he have done together?

Michael Drew: This is the first book that Roy has ever co-written with anyone and it is my first book. I have successfully marketed 74 consecutive books to The Washington Journal, USA Today, Business Week, INC, and the New York Times Bestsellers list, but this is my very first title.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Michael, having experienced your process, I know that you and I will have an interesting conversation here with Relly about what Pendulum means, what the context is, how you get people to write a book, for example, that’s relevant to all of the Myers-Briggs types, the MBTI types. How you can get people to read your book regardless of whether they read it front to back or pop it open in the middle, or go through the index. This is stuff that I didn’t know about until you came into my life.

It’s funny now because since you and I have worked on my books, and of course the new series coming up, I have been asked to be, if you will, a consultant to many other writers and I use a lot of your philosophies and I always tell people that they should go to the source. Now they can, right here on this radio show.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Tell us a little bit about Pendulum. What does the word pendulum actually mean?

Michael Drew: Basically, a pendulum is a ball that swings back and forth based upon weight and momentum. In our case, specifically what we are talking about is the momentum of the forces that move our world. They change every 40 years. When talking about generation X verses baby boomers, interestingly enough, while there were 74 million baby boomers, there are 72 million millenials and X’ers. Irrespective of that, the way that we define how society makes it’s decisions and how it views the world is not by looking at birth cohorts but rather life cohorts. Not between this year and that year, that would be an inarticulate way of understanding a generation, rather it’s the predominate view of society as a whole; the one through which we make the decisions and how we value each other.

Essentially, the carrot at the end of the stick that we chase and it changes every 40 years. What I would actually advocate is while the youth of society are driving the changes, that whether they are youth or they are people that are elderly, society as a whole today has adopted a new “we” mindset.

Basically what we argue in the book is that there are two forty year cycles. The cycle of “me” about the individual, about freedom and self expression and a cycle of “we” about community, about doing what is best for society as a whole. Neither is good or bad but we certainly take both too far. We have recently shifted as of 2003 from an ideology of “me” to an ideology of “we.”

So just to give the listeners a quick overview: the last completed “we” cycle was from 1923 to 1963. The last completed “me”, about the individual, was 1963 to 2003. The current cycle we are in is a “we” cycle and we are in this “we” cycle from 2003 until 2043.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Say a little bit about how you came up with the 40 year cycle.

Michael Drew: In 2003, my co-author, then he would be my mentor for my career, Roy Williams was in discussion with Dr. Nicholas Graf, the head of the Psychology Department at the University of Texas in Austin. He said to Nick, you know 2003 feels an awful lot like 1963 all over again only in reverse. Dr. Nick answered, yes, in fact there are a number of books that kind of argue that point. You should go and read these books.

Roy went back and read those books. There was some disagreement because Roy is an evangelical Christian but he also understands these Judeo-Christian background. He knew that in the Old Testament alone there are more than sixty mentions of 40-year generational patterns. In the Jewish belief, 40 is actually a very important number as well.

To him the number 40, universally/historically was a very important number. His belief is that it had to be 40 years. So he went back for the purposes of putting a presentation together, and researched the last 400 years of American history and found that, in fact, there were these two 40-year cycles. He did the presentation, the Pendulum presentation, from 2003 to 2007, when he retired the presentation and I picked it up and made it my own. Two years ago a New York publisher approached me after seeing it presented on the stage and offered me to do the book.

Roy and I said, you know what, we say this is true of Western civilization but we are only using the US as our data point. Let’s throw out all of the research that we have done—let’s challenge our assumption—let’s go back 3,000 years to recorded Western civilization, not just the United States but all of Western civilization and let’s look at every single 40-year cycle. What was interesting, and it actually kind of got scary, was that in the last 3,000 years of recorded Western civilization we could not find an exception of the movement from “me” to “we” or “we” to “me”, in exactly the years that it was set up to change, and we documented that in the book.

Learn how life cohort is defined, how Michael defines the 40 year segments, and how the change from “me” to “we” can affect your life and decisions. Listen to the complete recording of our discussion with Michael, above.


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