The recent death of Kofi Annan gave Prof. Dr. Wayne Visser pause to think about the nature of leadership – and especially what makes one leader stand out, as Annan clearly did. After all, there would not be any SDGs if it were not for Annan’s leadership on setting up the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) that preceded them.
"I heard Annan speak at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 – the so-called Rio+10 conference. Beyond this, I cannot claim to have known him, or even to have studied or reflected deeply on his leadership.
And yet he affected me. In fact, I believe he affected all of us – and for the better. We are all under the influence of leadership. Our lives are constantly touched by political leaders, business leaders, community leaders, religious leaders and thought leaders.
But Annan represents a special brand of leadership. He was what we might call a purposeful leader – someone who has the ability to inspire others to act for the common good, to serve some greater cause, to pursue a larger goal, to believe in a higher ideal."
Author: Dr. Prof. Wayne Visser