I have promised that I will not turn Leading Thoughts into a marketing piece and I won’t. In this edition, though, I want to tell you about a new little book I’ve written. Then, I’m going to show you some of the text from that book and provide an opportunity for you to buy it at a discount. There. Full disclosure. And next week, back to normal.
You know I’m concerned about the state of men today, and you know that I’ve written a book called Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men. Now, I’ve written a companion for this book. It’s called Building Your Band of Brothers. Let me let the opening paragraphs of this little book speak for themselves.
I want you to imagine something with me. Whatever your history, whatever your race or your native country, I want you to roll the story of your people back a few hundred years in your mind. Think about the men at that time. Remind yourself of how they lived and of what sealed them to each other.
These men—your ancestors—probably lived their whole lives in vital connection to other men. It determined nearly everything about them. In fact, it determined the meaning of manhood itself. What they knew and what they lived is part of what we need to recover today.
Keep imagining the lives of our ancestors with me. A few centuries ago families were often large, unless disease or war reduced their size. A man was likely to have brothers. He grew up with these companions, explored the world with them, and learned with them all that their parents had to teach. Often a man and his brothers lived near each other all their days, standing together against the onslaughts of the world and building together the things that made life worth living.
These brothers were also part of a larger band of men: the men of the village, town, or tribe. Survival was impossible without them. The men of this wider male community depended on each other for defense. They needed each other for the hunt. They relied on each other for help with their farms, for trade, and for the skills they did not possess themselves. They worked together, fought together, celebrated together, and worshipped together. During restful moments, they traded jokes, talked about the ways of the world, and entrusted each other with their dreams. They were tightly knit, an essential part of each other’s lives.
These were the commitments that bound men together centuries ago. They lived open, accountable, dutiful lives. They were connected. They had roles to play, jobs to do. They were devoted to a people—their people.
Life as part of a company of men was the way of our ancestors, but it is far from the way of men today. The majority of men today have no meaningful connection to other men. They have no band of brothers. They do not belong to a people. They do not belong—anywhere. Instead, most men today live lonely, rootless, untethered lives.
It is killing them. Surveys confirm it. Medical studies confirm it. The male suicide rate confirms it.
I want you to have this booklet. It’s going to make you better. It’s definitely going to help you become a more effective leader. It’s a short read, and it’s only $10, including shipping. Ladies, sorry for the “man-focus” in this Leading Thoughts, but I risked it because the men in your life need this little booklet. Order online and we’ll get it to your mailbox.
That’s it. Have a good weekend.