Our Story | The Project | Our History
In the fall of 2018, a group of friends and leaders came together with a giant concern, the breakdown of American families. Then out of that giant concern they hatched a giant dream. What if they created a platform that would deeply uplifted 50 million families in the next 20 years? What if our children and children everywhere could grow up with greater character and a much greater depth of qualities and values such as responsibility, honesty, self-reliance, self-esteem and compassion? And what if that deeper foundation of character and qualities and values has powerful long-term positive benefits for our communities and country? For example, what if poverty rates, homeless rates, drop-out rates, social services usage, incarceration rates, and the breakdown of our families drastically drops? And most of all, what if that deeper foundation of character and qualities and values leads to stronger families experiencing higher levels of love, joy and closeness?
Thankfully, these friends and leader’s dream is founded in fact. This family building approach has been utilized by this group of friends and leaders for over 25 years at Verus Global, the international consulting firm where most of these friends and leaders met and served together. It has been used for decades by prominent multi-national organizations such as Procter and Gamble and Nestle. And it’s been embraced in over 30 countries by every race, creed, faith and income level you could imagine. Plus, the book that started the journey, The 10 Greatest Gifts I Give My Children, published by Simon and Schuster, has sold over 500,000 copies and it’s still building momentum. Yes, the evidence and momentum is strong. But, this unique group of friends and leaders knew that serving one million families was not enough. They knew it would take 50 million and more to stop the breakdown of our families and build the future leaders we need to create a vibrant future.
Some of these leaders, such as the executive director of our new nonprofit, The 10 Greatest Gifts Project, had retired and literally sailed off into the sunset. Others were already busy with new careers or serving at other nonprofits. The one thing they all have in common? A deep belief that building healthy families is the number one thing we can do to build our healthy future. A belief so strong that they all shifted their priorities and schedules.
They also knew they had to create a new business model. The Verus Global model is very effective at uplifting families and organizations, but in very small quantities, not 50 million plus. These leaders knew a new approach had to be pioneered. In the next 10 years, The 10 Greatest Gifts project will train, certify and coach 1000 dedicated presenters delivering a transformational program that will soon be uplifting over one million family members per year. These family members will then utilize a one of a kind, entertaining app that will support their continuing mastery and usage of the 10 Greatest Gifts tools and concepts… mastery that will lead to their children growing up with priceless character and qualities and values.
Another powerful piece of their vision, these leaders realize that there’s a vast untapped and very needed resource, the grandparents of these same children. The grandparents are the missing link to developing our future citizens and leaders. An upcoming companion book, The 10 Greatest Gifts I Give My Grandchildren, will help inspire grandparents to take an even bigger role in nurturing their grandchildren’s character. This book will not only share endless ideas, scenarios and situations where qualities and values can be shared and reinforced, it will demonstrate how each one of these scenarios, by using 5 core tools, can be used to build qualities and values versus sometimes hurting our children’s future.
In over 25 years of sharing The 10 Greatest Gifts tools and concepts, global leaders have frequently shared three informative comments.
- The 10 Greatest Gifts approach and tools is the best family and leader building approach they have ever discovered.
- It is the only approach that is still being utilized decades later.
- The tools and concepts are universal. They’re effective at home and at work, and in all types of relationships.
In fact, a companion book, The 10 Greatest Gifts We Give Each Other, by Barbara Lynn-Vannoy is being released on May 2nd, 2020.
Yes, this unique group of friends and leaders has found a higher calling. We fully expect that on our death beds, we’ll look back and say, “this is the most meaningful, results creating, cost-effective and enjoyable calling of our lives.
The 10 Greatest Gifts Project provides parents, grandparents and educators with applicable tools to parent, grandparent and teach children in an ever-changing, social media-centric society. The goal is to transform families upstream, fixing societal problems at the source, therefore reversing these issues that government programs and other non-profits are trying to alleviate downstream. In order to do this, we train and certify dynamic, passionate people around the world to present this information to audiences who want to positively transform their families. Seminars will be held at various locations, working with community organizations such as churches, schools, clubs, associations, companies and conferences. Our mission will also be communicated through books, our website, app, Vimeo channel, blogs, and other media sources to assist session participants with continual support and reinforcement of the tools and concepts they explored at the session.
While the main focus is on helping parents and grandparents transform interactions and relationships with their children and grandchildren, these concepts are effective in any realm and any relationship, as evidenced by the success of Verus Global in elevating leadership skills in numerous globally-recognized corporations.
In 1993, Mr. Vannoy wrote a book called The 10 Greatest Gifts I Give My Children based on his personal parenting journey and the journeys of other parents. He approached many top publishers to get the book into the hands of other parents. After countless rejections, he self-published the book. Because of strong reviews and strong word of mouth, the book quickly climbed to the top five best-sellers in Colorado. Before long, those same publishers entered into a bidding war to republish it. Steven chose Simon and Schuster, and it quickly became one of their of all time best-selling parenting books.
Steven became one of the most sought-after speakers for various associations and organizations, such as the National School Counselors Association, National Pediatrics Association, National Housing Authorities Directors, and hundreds of school districts who used his program for teacher in-service days. He also held open seminars for parents and grandparents who saw the value in the tools discussed in his book.
Other parenting books are often written by referencing experts and clinical research in the field. The distinction of The 10 Greatest Gifts I Give My Children is that it goes to the source of parenting: parents and grandparents in the trenches. This book was created not only by Steven’s personal experiences in transformative parenting, but also by the valuable information he gleaned from over 400 focus groups and thousands of family interviews. Many of these accounts appear in the book, prompting parents to learn from each other.
Not long after the rise in the demand for his speaking engagements, a former participant asked Steven, “Your book saved my family. Do you have anything that will help my corporation? “Knowing that these tools had a transformative effect on adults, Steven started a company called Pathways to Leadership to teach the tools for corporate leadership. Its mission continues today — engaging organizations who want to see their employees work and morale soar. Many Fortune 100 companies such as Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Ford Motors, and many others have adopted the wellness concepts of Verus Global as their primary leadership approach.
The aim of The 10 Greatest Gifts Project is to gift parents and grandparents with these valuable tools and continue a deep connection so that these concepts become second nature. We desire to see people so excited about the tools they gain, they’re eager to share it with their friends and family!