Author Hans Manzke talks about Democratizing Big Ideas: Access the Next Version of Yourself


“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.”

– Dr. Shawntel Smith

As the world shifts from hierarchies to networks, we need a manifesto and playbook for the young and ambitious.  And For All is that book for any young, ambitious creator.

Author Hans Manzke is a Principal at The Clearing, a small Washington, DC management consulting firm focusing on partnerships that unlock true transformation and in his new book tackles the very question raised by Shawntel Smith: breaking our own barriers. How do you reach your full potential as an individual?  Step one is likely to pick up For All: Democratizing Big Ideas (New Degree Press, 2021).

There are quite a few books out about entrepreneurship and unlocking our potential, but Manzke takes a broader view and talks about how we can all tap into our personal purpose if we just believe in ourselves enough to put in the work. He also discusses mindsets and approaches that supercharge critical thinking and help us reach our goals, while minimizing mindsets that discourage critical thinking.

Manzke is a terrific storyteller and wastes little time pushing you to see what’s possible today.  He shares the story of Leila Janah who by the age of 33 had founded two wildly successful companies – both with a powerful social impact mission at their core. SamaSource and LXMI, the former a data analysis and impact sourcing organization that employs and trains at-risk people around the world, and the latter a high-end skin care products brand that employs marginalized women in Northeastern Africa to gather and process natural materials, both pay their employees roughly three times the level of average local wages in their communities.

As Manzke writes — for Leila Janah who was the daughter of Indian immigrants, it was discovering her personal “why” shifted her course in life.

The book is dense and covers a great deal for the reader and it’s clear the book leverages his learnings working with organizational transformation to color his view of individual and personal transformation.  The book tunes into the mindsets and approaches that supercharge critical thinking and help us tap into our personal purpose. You will identify and minimize mindsets that discourage critical thinking so you can reach your goals, find joy in achievement, learn from mistakes, and ultimately step out of negative patterns with courage to become a different version of yourself.

For All is a book that clearly will inspire twenty-and-thirtysomethings, but may also help individuals looking for a next act or a next move.  It’s a blend of hopeful and inspiring, mixed with the pragmatic and conceptual that will help a reader apply frameworks to their own lives.

About the Author

Hans Manzke is a Principal at The Clearing, a small Washington, DC management consulting firm that focuses on partnerships that unlock real transformation. The company believes in, inspires, and outfits leaders to have meaningful lives and to make extraordinary contributions to causes that matter.

Hans has always been a seeker — a constant asker of “why” questions. He has turned that energy to exploring how big ideas can effect us for the good, especially through the lens of access and equity. The world’s best thinkers have much to share with us, and if we listen, our full potential and more happiness at work and in life await.

You can check out the book unboxing here.