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Career Success, Personal Growth, Leadership Library

Leadership Library Selection: Forward

Andrew Yang, a recent Speaker Broadcast guest at The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), admits that no one knew who he was before he ran for president in 2020.

His message of political disruption and common sense change caught people’s attention, and he's continued to voice his concern in his book Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy.


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His previous book, The War on Normal People, focused on the dehumanization of our economy and suggested we adopt universal basic income. Yang quips, "That’s probably how you first heard about me: as the 2020 presidential candidate who wanted to give everyone money."

Forward, as the title hints, takes his message a step further—tackling the larger problems in our political system and creating a detailed road map for a way out from the rubble. 

Yang writes, "The scope here is broader. The insights are more nuanced but the ultimate theme remains the same: our economic and political order is facing unprecedented dangers, many of them brought on by new technologies, and only bold new leadership and policies have a chance to overcome decades of political dysfunction, and leaders who are rewarded regardless of whether or not they rise to the challenge." 

Holding leaders accountable is a major theme in the book, and it's an important one at the NSLS. Our own mission takes leadership development a step beyond skill building.

Being a true leader is about using the leadership skills you develop for the greater good. Yang points out these “priests of the decline” in America, including politicians whose incentives are not aligned with the needs of the people they serve.

Fixing a Nation's Problems with Common Sense

With hope and a roll-up-the-sleeves attitude, Yang provides real answers and solutions to our biggest obstacles as a nation. 

As a 2020 presidential candidate and a 2021 candidate for mayor of New York City, he got a first-hand look at some of the issues in the American political system.

Before getting into politics, Yang was an entrepreneur, and was eventually named a Presidential Ambassador of Global Entrepreneurship by President Barack Obama.

Today, he still uses his entrepreneurial skills to help make a better world as founder of Humanity Forward, which provides financial relief for communities, with the larger goal to humanize our economy.

He's also the founder of Venture for America, a fellowship program that provides college graduates with first-hand startup experience and other opportunities to help push them forward in their careers.

With a hands-on approach, Yang seeks to reform our political system and maximize the potential of American capitalism.

"Our leaders are rewarded based not on solving problems, but on accruing resources and retaining office. I'm a problem solver pursuing solutions, and I now believe that no long-term solutions will happen with our current political structures and incentives. Innovation is required." 

Key Takeaways: Forward

In his book, Yang writes about: 

  • His story of running for president and the lessons he learned.
  • Realistic goal-setting techniques to achieve your vision.
  • The importance of prioritizing mental health as a key issue.
  • Our misaligned media and political systems that are reliant on detrimental incentives.
  • How to fix the forces holding us back, including instituting ranked-choice voting.

Read Andrew Yang's Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy and gain insight into the issues we face today, how we can fix them, and how to take steps to reach your own goals.