Memories of A Great Man

23 years ago I had a two hour one-on-one with Shimon Peres in Jerusalem.  I had been honoured to be asked to give the opening speech for the Peres Centre for Peace in Ajami, a predominantly Arab area in Jaffa a year earlier, and was fortunate enough to be invited back to meet again with President Peres to celebrate Saatchi & Saatchi’s being awarded the United Nations Gold Award for our Blood Relations campaign.

Our meeting ran one hour over the allotted time (much to the frustration of the Government time-keeping folks) as the President dispensed wisdom, humanity, principles, hopes – all in the context of Peace and Harmony.  If only he were with us today.  How the world needs such morally principled leadership!!  When our meeting eventually ended I rushed into a private room to list 12 things I remembered from our two hours.  Here they are.

12 Leadership Nuggets:

  • Leaders must not be afraid of being alone.
  • They must have the courage to be afraid.
  • A leader must decide.  He should not agree or disagree.  He says Yes or No.
  • A leader must pioneer not rule.
  • A leader is not on the top of his people but ahead of them in front.
  • Leadership is extremely hard work.
  • When you have chosen a destiny … never give up.
  • Leadership is based on a moral call.
  • What is right today is different tomorrow.
  • It’s not enough to be up to date; you have to be up tomorrow.
  • To lead is to listen, to pay attention to every detail, to decide.
  • Everything that once was controversial ultimately becomes popular.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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