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Kofi Annan introduced as 'father, son, brother and uncle' an ordinary man

In my presentations on leadership I often use the Think Different Apple TV ad (below) as an example to inspire… and there it was at the EO Amsterdam University I attended last week. Learning is not necessarily about new thoughts but reconnecting to ideas, concepts and theories you have already discovered. Ideas come back to us when they are most needed.

The MC did not read a bio of Kofi Annan to introduce him, he simply said “I present a father, son and brother and uncle.” His introduction simple and connecting to the audience.

As you look at the video below consider all these people are someone’s child, and most probably parents – whilst we think of them as ‘amazing’ they too are just human – I ask myself “As another human being what bigger game could I play?” Challenge yourself to consider the same thing…


Here’s to the crazy ones

The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them.
Disagree with them
Glorify or vilify them…
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent things.
They imagine.
They heal.
They explore.
They create.
They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are usually the ones who do.”


In Nelson Mandela’s 1994 inauguration speech he too challenged people to ‘get out of our own way’. The piece below was also printed in our work books at the EO event.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves: who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. Your playing small does not serve the world. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same!”

This says to me.. no more ‘buts’ – the bigger the challenge the greater the opportunity – and it takes ordinary people to get on with it.

Reader Interactions


  1. Hi Naomi

    Wow what a powerful message. Thank you for today’s inspiring anecdote! Today I’m in planning mode for a few big events for our company – talking about how we can create the right stretch and engagement to transform the way we work. We are a great company striving to embed “SPot-ON!” as the way we work – I know from a few key ideas and the power of our people being SPot-ON! is not an aspiration, it is our reality. Thanks again for more inspirational thoughts – I really appreciate it.



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