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Publisher's Summary

This program is read by Steve Carlson and Charles Koch with contributions from Social Entrepreneurs working in collaboration with the Stand Together organization.

A surprising take on how you can help tackle the really big problems in society - from one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs.

People are looking for a better way. Towering barriers are holding millions of people back, and the institutions that should help everyone rise are not doing the job. Crumbling communities. One-size fits all education. Businesses that rig the economy. Public policy that stifles opportunity and emboldens the extremes. As a result, this country is quickly heading toward a two-tiered society.

Today’s challenges call for nothing short of a paradigm shift - away from a top-down approach that sees people as problems to be managed, toward bottom-up solutions that empower everyone to realize their potential and foster a more inclusive society.

Such a shift starts by asking: What would it mean to truly believe in people?

Businessman and philanthropist Charles Koch has devoted his life to answering that question. Learn what he’s discovered during his 60-year career to help you apply the principles of empowerment in your life, in your business, and in society.

By learning from the social movements and applying the principles that have enabled social progress throughout history, Koch has achieved more than he dreamed possible - building one of the world’s most successful companies and founding Stand Together, one of America’s most innovative philanthropic communities. Stand Together CEO Brian Hooks and Koch show how the only way to solve the really big problems - from poverty and addiction to harmful business practices and destructive public policy - is for each and every one of us to find and take action in our unique role as part of the solution.

Full of compelling examples of what works - including several first-person accounts from individuals whose lives have been transformed - Koch and Hooks’ refreshing approach promotes partnership instead of partisanship and speaks to people from different perspectives and all walks of life. They show that no injustice is too tough to overcome if you share a deep belief in people, are willing to unite with anyone to do right, and work to empower others from the bottom up. 

A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press

"If you don't believe in people, what do you believe in? This is a provocative book for the moment. Highly recommended." (Ryan Holiday, number one New York Times best-selling author of The Obstacle Is the Way and The Daily Stoic)

©2020 Charles G. Koch and Brian Hooks (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Believe in People

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For Doers Tired of Spinning Their Wheels

This is an inspiring how-to book for doers. It’s for social entrepreneurs—the author’s term for change makers out there trying to find new ways to improve the world—written by one of the most effective and least understood philanthropists of our times.

And it’s also an interesting listen. Many of the social entrepreneurs featured in the book share first-person vignettes, read by them. Their fascinating stories—such as an early gay-rights activist, a former gang leader, a community organizer in recovery—bring a lot of heart and emotion to the book.

Many of us are deeply concerned about the state of affairs in America today: division, a rigged economy, politics that seems broken and a general sense that things are going in the wrong direction. Many turn to traditional camps in search for an answer—partisan politics, or strains of nationalism and socialism—only to be plagued by a nagging sense that these views aren’t delivering the change they’ve long promised.

This book offers not only practical guidance for how you can make things better, but presents a refreshingly new paradigm for action. Koch and Hooks offer a compelling case for why empowering others, instead of attempting to control them, offers a better way to tackle the biggest issues of our times.

When we believe in others, we enable them to contribute more. But to believe in others, we must also believe in ourselves. I love how this book shows the symbiotic nature of how using our gifts towards having an impact on the causes we most care about, we not only help OTHERS but WE can find fulfillment along the way, too.

Strongly recommend for anyone out there trying to help others, searching for better and better ways to magnify your impact, and searching for more meaning in these dark times.

2 people found this helpful

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Leftist, light on inspiration, bereft of teaching

Ra ra cheering for people to change the world by a guy that does. No substance though. No lessons - no content other than ranting about things that need to change in the world. Not inspiring, nothing to learn here. If you are already someone who seeks to make the world better, do something better with your time than listening to this book - such as listening to something to learn by or taking a positive action to help the world.

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Delegate for the win

Like a good manager, Koch really delegates many fascinating stories of game changers which are told by their protagonists themselves. In that way, the book itself is a practical example of proper collaboration.
I am confident that even if you are not in line with all principles laid down in the book, you will enjoy some of the stories and overall that will make the book a valuable read.

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Sound advice

If you want to make a difference, you'll need to work with others. This book gives sound advice on how to make those changes for the benefit of everyone.

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just terrible

it's a horrible story about another over privileged, in bred man. very boring and quite a waste of my free credit.

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Hope filled story

This well a nice reminder that each individual has the opportunity to make change in their society. The passages read by mr koch were very sweet and you could hear the love in his voice for his wife, children and his friends. It is an uplifting book.

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From The Bottom Up

Awesome and informative book selection. A must read for all business owners, and future business owners.

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This book is a must read for managers

This book is an excellent. It shows that all leaders must be open to learn. The bottom up approach should be the standard for leaders.

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Platitudes and no substance.

Was really hoping for something more concrete. Really nothing here but self congratulatory fluff.

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great pain insightful book

Charles Koch proved to be a fantastic businessman who is a lover of people! his insights into social entrepreneurship will inspire a generation of changemakers.

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  • Andrew Duncan
  • 08-25-21

The world's biggest climate villain passing the bu

Please research the author Charles Koch before buying this book.

The fossil fuel reliant billionaires of the world like Charles Koch want us to believe that solving the world's problems relies entirely on individuals. This strategy plays into their goal of avoiding political change that would incentivise the necessary move away from fossil fuels. Meanwhile, he funds countless lobbyist front groups that use every means possible to stonewall any meaningful political progress that might help us transition towards a sustainable future.

While individual action is critical, the individual we most need to act (or get out of the way) is none other than the author himself (owner of the largest privately held fossil fuel interest - Koch Industries).

I'm gutted that I spent money on this book. I firmly believe in personal accountability but it wasn't until I learned more about Charles Koch that I realised I was being played like an innocent pawn in his fossil fuel Crusade.

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Profile Image for Jonathan Bennett
  • Jonathan Bennett
  • 11-23-20

extraordinary

this book is an incredibly well-written very detailed blueprint houses improve other people's lives as well as your own. I have read a lot of work by Charles Koch and this is by far has best work and I really enjoyed every part of it.