396. Magna CEO on Turning Five Thousand Dollars Into One Billion | Frank Stronach

    Companies need to prioritize providing better learning opportunities for managers and simplifying economic models to ensure success and support aspiring entrepreneurs.

    enNovember 13, 2023

    About this Episode

    Dr. Jordan B Peterson sits down with founder and CEO of Magna International, Frank Stronach. They discuss the keys to starting and maintaining a successful business, and the ideas contained within the Economic Charter Rights, which advocates for the input and autonomy of all workers and profit sharing to be exercised company wide.


    Frank Stronach is the Founder and Honorary Chairman of Magna International Inc., the world's most diversified automotive parts supplier with more than 170,000 employees in 43 countries and sales of over $40 billion US. At Magna, he introduced his unique management philosophy known as Fair Enterprise, which is based on a business Charter of Rights that predetermines the annual percentage of profits shared between employees, management, investors and society.



    - Links - 


    For Frank Stronach: The Stronach Foundation for Economic Rights; https://economiccharter.ca/ 


    On Instagram https://www.instagram.com/officialfrankstronach/ 


    The Greed Factor (Book) https://www.amazon.com/Greed-Factor-Solutions-Revitalize-Enterprise-ebook/dp/B08R7V792K/ref=sr_1_2?qid=1699902367&refinements=p_27%3AFrank+Stronach&s=books&sr=1-2 


    Official website for the SARIT car https://saritmobility.com/

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • With resilience and determination, anyone can overcome challenges and build a successful life, regardless of limited resources or initial setbacks.
    • Frank Stronach's journey teaches us that by maintaining focus on our goals, being open to new opportunities, and working diligently, we can overcome obstacles and achieve success.
    • Empowering employees and supporting small businesses are essential for economic growth, increased productivity, and a fair and balanced society.
    • Frank Stronach believes that addressing bureaucracy and promoting trade education are essential steps towards a thriving economy that supports job creation and innovation.
    • Learning basic skills and becoming an expert problem solver can help individuals start and grow successful businesses. Passing on knowledge to younger generations is also important for future entrepreneurship.
    • Successful negotiations involve understanding and addressing the needs and aspirations of all parties, leading to aligned interests and dedicated work.
    • Trust and reputation are essential for the success of a capitalist enterprise, and they are built through consistently delivering on commitments, maintaining honesty and trustworthiness, and fostering strong business relationships.
    • By involving all stakeholders in the profit-making structure and addressing the needs of workers and businesses, a more distributed and generous form of capitalism can foster trust, loyalty, and contribute to overall business growth.
    • Prioritizing personal relationships and creating a sense of community in the workplace leads to increased productivity and employee engagement, while larger institutions can result in alienation and decreased motivation.
    • Effective communication, employee empowerment, fair compensation, and collaboration with private industries are essential for a positive work environment and overall success in organizations.
    • Companies need to prioritize providing better learning opportunities for managers and simplifying economic models to ensure success and support aspiring entrepreneurs.
    • Limiting bureaucratic hiring and promoting innovation in transportation can help alleviate regulatory burdens, stimulate entrepreneurial development, and address future challenges such as limited oil supply and potential food shortages.
    • Frank Stronach proposes the use of electric trucks for food transportation and small electric cars for individual commuting, emphasizing the need for low-cost alternatives and environmentally friendly transportation solutions.
    • By promoting fair and ethical business practices, encouraging young entrepreneurs, and addressing environmental concerns, we can work towards a more equal society and ensure a better future for all.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Rising from Hardships to Success: Frank Stronach's Inspiring Journey

    Frank Stronach's success story highlights the importance of seizing opportunities and overcoming challenges. He started with limited resources and faced hardships, such as struggling to find a job and experiencing hunger. However, he didn't give up and kept pushing forward. This resilience and determination allowed him to build a massive business empire from scratch. Stronach's story serves as an inspiration for individuals who may feel discouraged or uncertain about their own potential for success. It shows that with the right mindset and persistence, anyone can achieve their goals and create a prosperous and fulfilling life.

    The Importance of Hard Work, Perseverance, and Seizing Opportunities

    Frank Stronach's journey teaches us the value of hard work and perseverance. Despite starting in a humble position, he never lost sight of his goals and continuously sought opportunities to advance. Stronach's experiences illustrate the importance of seizing chances, even if they don't align with our initial expectations. While he initially felt sorry for himself, Stronach's determination led him to find better opportunities and eventually build a successful company with thousands of employees worldwide. His story also highlights the significance of the economy in our lives and the need for economic democracies to support and uphold our human rights. Ultimately, Stronach's journey teaches us that with dedication and a resilient spirit, we can overcome obstacles and achieve success.

    Economic Democracy and the Importance of Small Businesses for a Prosperous Society

    The economy is driven by smart managers, hardworking employees, and investors. All three groups have a right to share in the profits they help create. This idea of economic democracy is crucial for a fair and balanced society. The human Charter of rights alone is not enough; we also need an economic Charter of rights to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in the economy. By empowering employees and giving them a stake in the profits, we unleash their energy and innovation, leading to increased productivity and success. Additionally, we must support small businesses, as they are the backbone of the economy and drive innovation. By removing red tape and allowing them to operate freely, we can foster economic growth and create a more prosperous society.

    Frank Stronach on Fixing Bureaucracy and Promoting Trade Education for Economic Growth

    Frank Stronach believes that the bureaucracy has become excessively burdensome, hindering innovation and economic growth. He highlights that the system, rather than individual bureaucrats, needs to change. Stronach stresses the importance of a coalition of concerned citizens working together to fix the economy and ensure job creation. He also emphasizes the need for a shift in education, suggesting that high school should focus more on teaching trades to prepare students for practical skills. Stronach's personal experience as a tool and die maker shaped his problem-solving abilities and understanding of the precision and machinery required for manufacturing. Overall, his key message is that addressing bureaucracy, promoting trade education, and supporting the growth of the manufacturing sector are crucial for a thriving economy.

    Problem-solving skills and knowledge are crucial for success in business.

    Frank Stronach emphasizes the importance of problem-solving skills and knowledge in starting and growing a successful business. By learning the basics and becoming a skilled drill and die maker, he gained the ability to solve problems for potential customers. Stronach developed the vision to rent his own garage and produce his own tools, presenting himself as a problem solver to clients. He understood that demonstrating his capabilities and offering solutions to their problems was a successful approach to sales. Additionally, Stronach believes in the power of teaching and passing on knowledge to younger generations, enabling them to start their own businesses. Price and quality, coupled with expertise, are key aspects of providing great service.

    Aligning Interests for Successful Deals and Negotiations

    Successful deals and negotiations involve aligning your interests with your partner's. Frank Stronach valued his foreman's work and wanted to retain him for the future growth of the company. He recognized that if the foreman left, all the workload would fall on him, hindering progress. Stronach contemplated a deal that would meet the foreman's needs while also benefiting himself. Instead of trying to win or compromise, he aimed for a win-win situation where both parties would be thrilled to progress with the deal. This approach ensured that their interests were aligned, leading to autonomous and dedicated work. This serves as a reminder that successful negotiations require understanding and addressing the needs and aspirations of all involved parties.

    Building Trust and Reputation in Capitalist Enterprises

    Trust and reputation are crucial in the success of a capitalist enterprise. Frank Stronach emphasized the importance of keeping promises and maintaining a strong reputation in business dealings. He highlighted that trust is built by consistently delivering on commitments and not screwing other people over. Additionally, Stronach emphasized the value of putting agreements in writing to ensure clarity and accountability. Contrary to the cynicism surrounding capitalism, he argued that a reputation for honesty and trustworthiness is more likely to lead to success in the long run, rather than solely focusing on greed and self-interest. This highlights the significance of fostering trust and integrity in business relationships to create a sustainable and thriving enterprise.

    Implementing a More Generous Form of Capitalism: Motivation, Freedom, and Profit for All.

    Implementing a more distributed and generous form of capitalism can lead to greater motivation, freedom, and overall profit. By involving workers, managers, and owners in the profit-making structure, companies can ensure that everyone has a stake in the success of the enterprise. This not only fosters trust and loyalty but also incentivizes individuals to take care of their own affairs and contribute to the growth of the business. Additionally, distributing responsibility and profit helps prevent the concentration of benefits in the hands of a few, reducing discontent and dissatisfaction within the system. Transparency, trustworthiness, and a fair deal for all are vital for the success of such a model. Labor issues can also be minimized by establishing a framework of economic justice that addresses the needs and concerns of both workers and businesses.

    Nurturing Personal Connections: The Key to Productivity and Success

    Maintaining a personal connection and respecting the human side of business is crucial for productivity and success. Frank Stronach emphasizes the importance of labor and management working together to create a quality product. He implemented a hotline and anonymous feedback system to address employee concerns and ensure fairness. By valuing the individual and creating smaller factories, he fostered a sense of community and personal investment in the work. In contrast, larger institutions can lead to alienation and decreased motivation, as seen in educational institutions. Therefore, it is essential to find the optimal size for a hierarchy and prioritize personal relationships to avoid employees becoming just numbers.

    Enhancing Communication and Engagement for Organizational Success

    Effective communication and employee engagement are crucial for success in any organization. By allowing employees to voice their concerns, bring new ideas, and feel valued, companies can improve productivity and reduce turnover rates. It's important for managers to establish communication networks and maintain a personal connection with their employees. Additionally, fair wages and a system that rewards loyalty and performance can help create a positive work environment. Furthermore, universities should focus not only on teaching specific skills, but also on developing an understanding of how to build an ideal society. This can be achieved through collaboration with private industries and promoting a structure that benefits society as a whole.

    Improving Learning Experiences for Managers and Economic Models

    There is a need for better learning experiences for managers. While there are very few bad managers, there are no bad employees. It is the responsibility of the company to provide a system of learning and ensure that it is running smoothly. Frank Stronach suggests that a new model of the economy is needed, and Canada could be the first country to implement an economic charter of rights. However, the wider acceptance of ideas like constitutional profit sharing has been impeded by factors such as the complexity of corporate governance and the influence of specialized interest groups. Simplifying the system and creating clearer guidelines will be crucial for the success of any economic model. Additionally, it would be challenging to start a basic factory today, highlighting the difficulties faced by aspiring entrepreneurs.

    Overcoming Regulatory Burden and Advancing Innovation

    The regulatory burden in societies can hinder entrepreneurial development and stagnate progress. Jordan Peterson and Frank Stronach discuss the difficulty of clearing out regulations and the lack of effectiveness of politicians in making this change. Stronach suggests a civilized approach would be to limit bureaucratic hiring until it aligns with the country's GDP and market production. Additionally, the conversation shifts to the future and Stronach introduces a new product, a small electric car, aimed at providing cheap and accessible transportation for urban commuters. This product aims to address the waste of energy and harmful effects of carbon monoxide emissions. It is believed that such innovations in transportation will be necessary due to the limited supply of oil and potential future food shortages.

    Shifting Towards Sustainable and Cost-Effective Transportation

    Frank Stronach envisions a future where gasoline is rationalized and only used for essential purposes. He believes that electric trucks will be crucial in transporting food from farms to cities due to the lack of grid power for large electric trucks. Stronach suggests that small electric cars will be the answer for individual transportation, with minimal insurance costs and the capability to hold two people. He emphasizes the importance of providing a low-cost alternative for commuters who primarily use their vehicles for work and back. Stronach also discusses the potential for families to have a special permit for a large electric car for specific purposes, while using smaller cars for daily commute, errands, and social activities. Overall, his vision promotes environmentally friendly transportation solutions that are cost-effective and cater to various needs.

    Addressing Inequality and Promoting Ethical Business Practices for Sustainable Growth

    Inequality is a problem, but a system of distributed profits can be a reasonable solution. When companies are honestly run and motivated to build and produce, they can also motivate others and solve the problem of unequal distribution. By allowing managers to replace themselves and open up more factories, they can contribute to the profits and benefit both shareholders and workers. It's important to have smaller companies that inspire young people to aim for financial success, but it must be done in a fair and ethical way. Additionally, there is a need to address the impact of industrial farming on the environment and public health, ensuring that Canadian children have access to nutritious and organic meals.

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