Let us follow our hearts!

Let us follow our hearts!
I met a legendary man at a dinner; a unique human being, a leader with a strong personality. In 2003, when “everyone else” wanted war against terrorism, I saw his historic speech against the attack on Iraq at the UN (YouTube or written translation) and thought: “From where does a person doing that, totally acting against what is expected, obviously telling the truth among liars — from where does he get his courage, his no-compromise attitude and the calm conviction in his eyes..?”. I was truly impressed and inspired by this man, at that time the Foreign Minister of France and later Prime Minister; Mr. Dominique de Villepin. Did he ask President Jacques Chirac for permission to speak out… or did he just do it? Was there a strategy, or was it as courageous as it seemed to be..?

Last week, at a dinner in Shanghai hosted by the Roosevelt China Investment Corp. and its great CEO Mr. Tim T L Tse, I actually got the seat next to Mr. Villepin. So, to get to know the answer and to be able to tell you — I asked the man.

I will not quote Mr. Villepin as I think even a former Prime Minister is a private person who owns his own words, and I never asked if it would be OK to quote him here. But I will certainly not hesitate to share how I perceived his quite long, educational and hopeful answer.

No, he did not ask the President for permission. There was no time and no need. He spoke from his heart, just saying what he felt had to be said. He grew up in Morocco, Venezuela and the US and in a natural way learned about different perspectives. He understood all of them. So when he saw his opportunity to give perspective in a conflict between them he felt his moral obligation to speak out.

One man saying what the whole world except his colleagues wanted to say. One man, doing the right thing although threatening his social acceptance, his future career and security. Why? Because he believed it to be right, because he was following his heart and was willing to accept the consequences.

It was honesty, it was no political trick or strategy. This gives me hope for all of us. If Mr. Villepin could do it then, so can we now. Let Plantagon use its power to respond on what we believe in, what we think is right and let us involve as many as possible in this project of ours in advanced social entrepreneurship.

Let us use the power we have. Let us follow our hearts.

Sent by a role model
CEO Hans Hassle


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