The Coming Jobs War: A book review by Bob Morris

The Coming Jobs War: What Every Leader Must Know About the Future of Job Creation
Jim Clifton
Gallup Press (2011)

How and why entrepreneurs can – indeed must – win America’s “next everything war”

The war to which the title of this book refers will never be declared officially but I am convinced that it is already well underway and so far, as Jim Clifton observes, the United States is not doing at all well.  In fact, according to an abundance of research compiled by the Gallup Organization, the U.S. could lose it. “It is precisely to make global leaders more effective why we at Gallup [at which Clifton is chairman and CEO] created a new body of behavioral economic data that represents the opinions of 7 billion [that’s correct, billion] inhabitants across nearly every country and demographic and sociographic group imaginable. We call it the World Poll and are committed to doing it for 100 years.”

Clifton and his Gallup associates faced several challenges. For example, formulating a methodology that ensured consistent data collection to help make the whole data set comparable. Also, they needed to create reliable and consistent standards across the board so that leaders could see trends and patterns. “Six years into our global data collection effort, we may already have found the single most searing, clarifying, helpful, world-altering fact. What the whole world wants is a good job. This is one of the most important discoveries Gallup has ever made.” It is also the insight that Clifton examines with exceptional rigor and eloquence in this book.

I agree with Clifton that leaders of countries and of the cities within them must make job creation their #1 priority.  He devotes the bulk of the book to explaining who must do what and why it must be done. Those who disagree with his insights and recommendations would be well-advised to acknowledge that they are based on the aforementioned research that is on-going on a global basis. Here are a few of the subjects addressed that caught my eye in the first six chapters:

o  Top 25 Nations ranked by GDP (Pages 24-25)
o The implications of an economy in China of $13 trillion by 2040 (40-41)
o  Why behavioral economics is “the new secret weapon” (54-59)
o  What a master plan for economic “war” most consist of (65-68)
o Who “super mentors” are, what they can do, and why that’s important (73-78)

Equally valuable material is provided in Chapters 7-12. Then in the Conclusion, Clifton reiterates what he considers to be the most profound finding throughout all of the Gallup Organization’s research thus far: The primary will of the world is no longer about peace or freedom or even democracy; it is not about having a family, and it is neither about God nor about owning a home or land. The will of the world is first and foremost to have a good job. Everything else comes after that.”  What must be done? Clifton lists and briefly discusses 10 “demands” (i.e. findings) that must be mastered, what he characterizes as “the most important of the literally trillions of combinations of data and opinions Gallup has studied.” They are best revealed within a frame-of-reference, in context, appearing as they do at the conclusion of what has been the presentation of what I characterize as a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective global initiative to win “a war for everything.”

I wholly agree with Jim Clifton that if (HUGE “if”) a sufficient number of leaders and “super mentors” in almost any country master all ten “demands” (i.e. findings), then collaborate effectively to achieve separate but interdependent objectives, they will prevail. If not now, when? If not the United States, who?


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