The importance of a vision, closely linked to the soul of the country, or company, is one of the thoughts reverberating in my head after my meeting with Richard Gerver yesterday afternoon, together with Susanne, Ann and Therese from #skolvåren back office. I only missed Ninna, who was with us in spirit, not being able to get away to join us.
Richard shared the story of his meeting with Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, who said, the real failures of Google, have come about when they tried to act based on the fear of what someone else is doing – Facebook are launching X, we must have something similar! – rather than go deep within to find what they, Google, want to do, regardless of what others are doing.
And that’s what Richard asks Sweden:
Find your vision, believe in you path ahead, and stick to it. Don’t copy cat Finland (now slipping in the ranks of PISA), to move on to copy cat Singapore (latest fad school system everyone want’s to learn from), to move on to….
No, stop right then and there. Ask instead:
What do we want?
Where are we?
Where do we want to go?
What are the needs of Swedes and Sweden, for a school system?
Discover our Why, find that vision, and stick to it, Richard passionately asks of the hundred or so of teachers, principals, school developers and #skolvårare, in the audience in Huddinge.
I have more thoughts to sit with, after an hour listening to Richard, but this one is top of mind at the moment. But I’m fairly happy to just sit with it, not really doing much at all to act upon this, at this very moment. I’m on a school break, with my kids, enjoying them and their company immensely.
And you know what, the message Richard wants to get across is extremely relevant here as well. So I’ll do what I can to make sure my children know how to listen to their own voice, to find their passion, rather than believing life is about going after someone elses dreams. Because it’s not. Listen within, and there is a voice somewhere, sometimes whispering, other times shouting loudly.
What might happen in the world, when more of us wake up to that inner voice?
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