Thursday, July 29, 2010

The power of audacity

I was flattered beyond every belief to read the title of Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope’’ where he decided to point out the concept of audacity on the title which I had always preached to anyone who would listen was one of the most important drivers for success. As if I had owned that idea! Anyways, I never got around to reading it; I think I have hardly read any autobiographies of great people because at the end they are all very personal accounts with little left to pick up on, or so I like to make myself believe. And then happened the improbable, and the nice people in Stockholm really did take the wind out of my sails for the Obama craze. I was initially one of the biggest admirers of his charisma and ability, yet by him receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for having done absolutely nothing at the time except making it to President of the US of A, they sort of took away a lot of spirit and inspiration from this impressive persona.

But now back to the original reason for this piece, which is audacity.
I think it is some people’s overwhelming boldness and audacity, sometimes even ignorance of a better alternative, which allows them to fly to unequalled heights in the different walks of life. This of course applies to the more mediocre geniuses of our time, not the real ground-breaking, earth-shattering intellects and talents of this world that, hate them or love them, you need to respect.

Now let me bring that a little closer to a reader’s mind. Let us take a look at that TV presenter with minimal culture and barely acceptable education and grammar. Now this man/woman throws him/herself at TV stations, at intellectual gatherings, and to top it all off, on audiences and the world. The result? Quite often, if this person persists, and continues to persist, and continues to live that illusion that they are worth the effort, somehow somewhere something will give way and they will make it. Sometimes they will make it big-time.

So what was extraordinary about them? Their language – no, their communication skills – big no, their research methods and extreme wit – I swear again, NO. It was their audacity. Now of course, the ultimate thing to do for them then, is to also carve out a niche for themselves (kindly project that onto your office life) – and thus they become as strong and powerful as their respective audacity. Sometimes we like to glorify their audacity by giving it other names such as persistence in the face of obstacles or determination, but in the end is a good healthy ignorance of their own weaknesses and a belief that they totally have everything it takes that takes them there.

Now excuse my corporate background, but who of us hasn’t seen managers who have shared with the world, not only verbally, but in letters to the entire organization, their insights, reflections, and views on the many facets of business with a confidence that would leave the biggest thinkers and intellectuals of our time feeling humbled.

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