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Leadership calendar    Oct 18, 2022

Electrifying Growth Episode 5: We’re All in This Together with John Hope Bryant

Presidential appointee, business leader, philanthropist, and international best-selling author John Hope Bryant sits down with Managing Partner and Host Chris Sugden for Episode 5 of Electrifying Growth.


Perhaps no one knows building “up from nothing” better than Founder, Chairman & CEO at Operation HOPE, Bryant Group Ventures, and The Promise Homes Company, John Hope Bryant. A natural entrepreneur from Compton, John became a businessman early in life with a modest (but life-changing) $40 investment from his mother in his first business idea at the age of 10. The now presidential appointee, business leader, philanthropist, and international best-selling author has since made his well-awarded mark on society. 

Managing Partner Chris Sugden had the pleasure of sitting down with John for a conversation surrounding one key message: We're all in this together. John begins by sharing his background and the life-altering decisions that led him to today. Throughout the conversation, five themes come to light.

1. Education

Knowledge is a game-changer. It’s your competitive advantage. John suggests everyone aspire to learn what they don’t know. He advises beginning with economics; incentives, game theory, efficient markets. Then, expand to everything you can possibly consume. 

Learn economics and math, and you’ll master the world. 

2. Financial Literacy

There is a difference between making money and building wealth. Bryant vies that the transition from writing checks to receiving checks will change your life. 

You have to understand the economics of owning versus renting. Having a job versus creating a job. John says the easiest place to start is starting a business, then learning along the way.

3. Family Structure

Connected relationships with your parents and significant others are a strong foundation for life. “Nothing is more powerful than a child being told they’re loved.”

If you don’t have your own family, John advises assembling a 'chosen family' and nurturing the strongest possible connections with them.

4. Self-Esteem & Confidence

Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. Confidence is how you bring that esteem into the world. The more competence you have at a given subject, the more confidence you’ll have in that skill.

5. Role Models & Environment

Bryant says, “You are what you see.” A life well-lived is only possible when you surround yourself with the people you aspire to be. 

Young people today look up to pop stars and culture icons, but do they understand what comes with fame? Do they understand celebrities are no closer with their families than you are?

Entertainment, sports and the arts dominate our media. Upgrade to mentors, role models and idols who are where you want to be. Only then can young people see the value of creating versus consuming.

For more of John Hope Bryant's advice on how to leave a legacy, subscribe to our Electrifying Growth podcast!

Chris is Managing Partner and Chairman of the firm's investment committee. He has been on both sides of the table as a successful entrepreneur. His experience includes leading sales, product, finance, business strategy and capital formation.