A couple of months ago, I had heard rumblings that the Rich Dad Organization was undergoing some internal changes. Some changes seemed good, some did not seem so good. RichDadUnderground.com reported that the Sharon wanted to buy out the Kiyosaki’s only to have the reverse happen. The Kiyosaki’s wanted to buy Sharon Lechter out. I thought to myself this was going to get interesting. I wanted to comment but didn’t think it was responsible to do so until there was more substantial news.
Well, it appears that substantial news has happened with “The Business Journal of Phoenix” article from July 20, 2007. It seems that Sharon Lechter is indeed leaving the Rich Dad fold 10+ years after the founding of Cashflow Technologies, Inc.
I have always had a great deal of respect for the triumvirate of Robert & Kim Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. They have done enormous things in the last 10+ years.
I am a fan of Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad” book series and his Cashflow 101 & 202 game since I came across them in the late 1990′s. I still recommend the books and game to this day. Although I do not follow what Robert Kiyosaki and the rest of the Rich Dad Organization does as closely as I once did years ago, I still have fond and positive memories of my interactions with them.
I always found it amazing that the 3 primary leaders could continue partnering together successfully year after year despite Robert’s forceful and assertive leadership style.
It started with Robert being at the forefront representing the Rich Dad brand. Eventually, Kim came from behind the shadows to become a force herself to represent the women’s contingent of the Rich Dad community to lead the Rich Woman brand.
It seemed to me each person brought something signficant to the overall operation despite the fact Robert often represented the face of the Rich Dad Organization. With the resignation of Sharon, the company will no doubt take on a different life and energy with Robert and Kim left at the helm. It will put greater pressure on Robert and Kim to oversee the day to day management of their company. While they may hire managers to assist in the operations, I suspect Kim will take on a greater role of the “nuts and bolts” decisions I believed Sharon was involved in.
Robert has always been a strong, forceful leader and a risk taker. He seems focused on creating a three-way synergy between “Coaching” and the “Russ Whitney Organization”. It is a bold strategy except that the Whitney connection to “Rich Dad Education” gives the highly regarded Rich Dad brand a serious black-eye.
Clearly, there was a difference in views of which direction financial education should take. Sharon appears to want to work more closely with the school system and the public sector. Robert and Kim prefer making a difference by targeting individuals and the private sector.
I admire what Sharon wants to do but her battle will be an uphill battle and bound to be a thankless job. Funding will be an ongoing issue and breaking the current mindset will be even harder. I taught community college for one year and I will tell you it was not the most pleasant experience with the bureaucratic mindset, laziness, and rigidness I had to deal with. I taught in the private sector and it was far more rewarding both financially and emotionally.
In many ways, Robert and Kim’s approach is much more practical and (I believe) stands a much greater chance of success. Their association with Donald Trump can only be a boon. The Robert Kiyosaki TV show is also a great idea. Marshalling the forces behind the Rich Dad Franchise is also great. All in all, lots of great ideas. But the Whitney connection makes me cringe. I don’t think I could recommend anyone to attend any Whitney-managed or operated event. (But then again, no one asked me either!)
I am definitely interested in seeing how Sharon progresses from this point forward. Without the Rich Dad brand behind her, it will be much more difficult for her to deliver her message. She will probably have to craft a new book series, website, and infrastructure to help deliver her message because sitting on various boards will not give her the splash or clout she once had.
Without Sharon’s support, the Rich Dad Organization will either power on bigger and better than ever since the lead management is much more focused now. Or….. the Rich Dad Organization might start hitting some bumps on the roads behind the scenes without Sharon’s stability and presence. Robert will continue to be the storyteller, creative genius, and bold leader. If anyone can fill in the void left by Sharon, it will have to be Kim. She is a very smart and well-liked woman. But I wonder if that will pull Kim away too much from the things she loves to do.
No matter how it all turns out, I think the legacy left by Robert & Kim Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter during the last 11 years has been incredible. I trust they will continue to make a difference in the years to come apart from each other.