The Character Building Project

Michael J. Kerrigan

As many of you know, I have been working on the Character Building Project for a longtime. It is a rewarding mission but now I could really use your help in getting the word out about my just published third book, Restoring Character in America (RCIA.

The book’s message is simply that sound moral and intellectual virtues lay a foundation with other good habits that lead to building good character. My call to action is to mobilize individual citizens to help restore character in America.

Several sponsors have committed to help us get the message out by distributing books for free to teachers, parents and coaches. In order to for larger numbers of books to be freely distributed, thirty more Amazon reviews must be posted this quarter. For those not familiar with the process of posting reviews on Amazon, just tell me how I might be in touch with you.… Continue reading

The strategy for selling Restoring Character in America involves no advertising but does require: a word of mouth campaign, choosing a Blue Ocean approach, teaming with character experts, making one thousand true fans, collaborating with character organizations and foundations, speaking engagements and  better understanding the use of Facebook.

The first strategic problem was to solve how I might alert readers to my character message, without having a budget to advertise Restoring Character in America (RCIA.) In solving this problem an illustration of how difficult it is to qualify the response to advertising came to my mind. The quote attributed to John Wanamaker is, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Leaving the horns of an advertising dilemma, I opted for my version of a concept known as the “Blue Ocean Strategy”; that is, instead of… Continue reading


In the last several posts, I have assessed the progress of the Character Building Project site and shared lessons learned in publishing three books on character. In my last book, Restoring Character in America (RCIA) I gained a deeper understanding of character as a result of working with scholars, community and corporate leaders. Also I greatly benefited by exchanges about the state of character in our culture with the readers of my site and notes from my friends on Facebook.

In making this assessment, the question arises if readers appreciate the decline of character in our culture, does the site and the book serve the purpose of doing something about that decline? Most readers would agree, the essays of the four character exemplars in RCIA, clearly explain how character is being restored from an educational, military, corporate and community perspectives. In addition, information about combating the decline has been… Continue reading

For many years I have studied the Pareto Principle**, the commonly quoted management rule, which states that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. The hypothesis is that 80 per cent of results flow from 20 per cent of causes, and sometimes from a much smaller proportion of powerful forces.

The 80/20 Principle asserts that a minority of causes, inputs or effort usually led to a majority of the results, outputs or rewards. Taken literally, this means that, for example, 80 per cent of what you achieve comes from 20 per cent of the time spent. Thus for all practical purposes, four- fifths of the effort—a dominant part of it—is largely irrelevant.

The reason that the 80/20 Principle is so valuable is that it is counterintuitive. We tend to expect that all causes will have roughly the same significance and that all customers are equally valuable.… Continue reading


The answer to this question is in two parts; why Amazon Reviews are important and serve an important purpose, as well as the approach I sought in seeking reviews of my three published books.

My research into the topic of reviews demonstrates when you distribute your book through Amazon; getting reviews may be the single most important thing to determine your book’s future success. Amazon is king in publishing books. It’s where authors go to monitor their book’s success, and it’s where readers to go browse and buy. Authors should use Amazon to their advantage. Every major publishing, every editor, asks their authors to have all their friends and colleagues preorder their books and write reviews. Online reviews are the modern media world-of-mouth; they’re immensely powerful and can have a huge affect on how your book is perceived

Amazon reviews serve a few different purposes. Reviews can:

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Just Released!

Restoring Character in AmericaRestoring Character in America identifies the decline in character in our country, but then gives the reader hope for the future by showcasing leaders whose careers are successfully turning around this trend in our schools, communities, businesses, and the military.

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For the Visually Impaired

Courage in America has been aurally transcribed for the visually impaired, thanks to Volunteers of Vacaville, California. Tel: 704.448.6841 ext 2044.