Go Fish

How to Utilize Mission, Vision, and Values to Make a Difference in the World

Let’s All Learn How to Fish…to Sustain Long-Term Economic Growth by Michael Falk contains many common-sense ideas including advocating for a social safety net, embracing self-reliance, and cherishing the value of the individual and the spirit of humane generosity.

This book shares many pearls of wisdom on relevant topics from retirement and health care to caring for your body and mind and learning how to learn. In addition, it provides dozens “to dos” all in one place and in an accessible format and approach that is both holistic and manageable.

I was able to catch up with Michael Falk and ask him some questions about his new book. Here are his current thoughts:

1. What do you think are the biggest takeaways from your latest book, Let’s Learn How to Fish?

· The impending agedness of Societies requires us to re-think policies or severely risk economic growth and Societal disruption.

· Working longer is not THE answer but a flawed conditional response to our challenges

· Policies are interconnected and need to be thought of holistically. For example, working longer (retiring retirement as we know it) requires continued health spans and employment skills.

· The good news is WE can choose better policies; the demographics do not have to be destiny.

· People who are able, need to take responsibility and have trampolines to bounce-back when need be. We need safety nets for all others.

2. You talk about creating “a virtuous circle — a cycle that continually reinforces counteractions to demographic trends and increases economic growth.”

· Yes… we offer a different way of thinking, but I believe this is possible.

· I just listened to a talk by Muhammad Yunus and found it inspirational on how charity cannot accomplish what social business projects can.

3. What would be your advice to the new leadership of the United States including the President, Congress, and Supreme Court?

· Be honest. Be respectable.

· P — your job is to care for everyone in the country; be a positive leader in the world… it’s not right v. left (please stop) but rather about opportunity, equality, and people taking responsibility.

· C — same as the P, but focused on in the country; make laws: term limits, real campaign finance reform, don’t provide unique benefits for yourselves.

· SC — 3 mandates: freedom (decisions, voices); safety; safeguarding the rules of the land. It is also important to provides updates as need be in present-day society.

4. In the conclusion to your book, you talk about the importance of Mission, Vision, and Values. Under Values, you list the following:

· Integrity: Words and actions align, agreements are made and kept.

· Responsibility: Behavior is accountable with an absence of blame.

· Compassion: People have empathy for others.

· Forgiveness: People accept mistakes and move forward — because we are all human.

· You add another important value, which is continuous improvement. Learning from mistakes because personal growth is in all of our best interests.

What are some of your recommendations for both personal and professional continuous improvement?

· First, let’s set the MVV to align around.

· Then, continuous improvement requires: measurements/documenting, deliberate practice, and repeat… what are the needs (if not goals) that best come from others around that person

5. Any other thoughts?

· Taking responsibility… better connects the user and the payer. Look at some of today’s bigger problems: SS funding, HC funding, college funding ALL either directly or indirectly disconnect the users from the payers.

Thank you Michael.

For more information about this book, please visit the CFA Institute