Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Pebble and Banker to the Poor

Today was perfect for a 16 K run. A bit drizzly at 8 AM but perfect temperature (about 15 degrees C). Of course it helped to be prodded to do it by a friend who ran with me. I normally run a maximum distance of 10K unless I am training for something.

As I started to run, I felt a stone in my shoe. It felt huge. I knew if I kept running, I would have a blister. So, I stopped and removed the "huge" stone but it turned out to be a tiny pebble.

I think about time management and our lives. Often the smallest of pebbles can put us off track. Often the pebbles feel like large stones. It helps to have tools and strategies to deal with these pebbles. That's partly what inspired me to write my Time Management book.

Stuff happens. Usually it is not as big as it feels at the time. Build your tools now to deal with "the stuff".

On a recent flight, I read an outstanding book called Banker to the Poor Microlending and the Battle Against World Poverty by Muhammad Yunus. Muhammad taught economics at the University of Bangladesh and saw the poverty around him and felt that that his theoretical work at the university was not solving the problem. What he saw was the small amounts of money loaned to people to allow them to start their business or raw materials could have a huge impact.

He started Grameen Bank and started making micro-credit loans to people in groups using the social pressure to make sure everyone repays their loans. His first loans he saw that 42 people needed $27.00 to buy raw materials and this was his first loan. He had tremendous success repaying the loans and has since grown to almost 2,000 branches and a staff of 11,000 which has loaned $3.9 billion with a recovery rate of 98%.

Impressive results with limited resources.

This is a true book of hope and definitely worth reading.


At 8:17 AM, Blogger Stuart R. Crawford said...

Hi Jim

Awesome book, Yunus spoke at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference this year, I thought he was kinda out of place at this event, however he delivered a powerful message.


Stuart Crawford


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