The lesson from “the ugliest woman in the world” for business leaders

March 19, 2015 4 comments

When Lizzie Velasquez, “visually impaired” as they say and aged 17, saw on Youtube, the title “The World’s Ugliest Woman“, she soon realized that the clip was featuring… her! I let you imagine the profound shock this young adolescent felt when, amongst the thousands of comments, she read incredibly pathetic quotes such as “Why would her parents keep her?!” or “kill it with fire”…

Recently, I was walking in the streets of Paris, with a Brazilian citizen, in charge of leadership development for the top 300 in a large family owned company. We were discussing about the number of sad and expressionless faces one can see, often, on the way to and back from work. “Many people don’t understand that life has no meaning” he said. “It is our duty to create a meaning to Life, a Deep Intent for ourselves. Otherwise, we will just “spend time” on Earth” he said. I found interesting his thoughts that an organization needs to create a sense of purpose, a feeling of glory and pride for its employees. When a father or mother go back home at night with the sole satisfaction that they have “sung the Blues to pay the dues”, it is far less energizing than sharing, with passion and faith, the difference they made at work, the social utility to which they contributed with their children…

Sergio’s words were “Food for Thought” to me. What is the meaning I give to my life and what sense of Pride do I ensure that my organization offers to my people…

Just arrived home, my daughter asked me to watch the TED speech made by… Lizzie Velasquez. Yes, far from letting human stupidity and mediocrity take her down, Lizzie decided to “pick herself up”… “Even though I have this syndrome, I can’t let it define me” she says… I encourage you to watch. The start is a bit slow (Lizzie has got to explain her condition and provide background) but fasten you seat belt after minute 8.



Humbling experience… That is someone who decided to give her life a Meaning!

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