I was absolutely blown away and almost brought to tears during the recent Iconoclasts featuring Richard Branson and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Tutu is one of the most remarkable individuals I have ever seen. He truly glows. He is so positive, kind, insightful, witty, hilarious and all around intelligent. I was floored. As a kid, I would hear about him in the news and just chuckle at the sound of his name. I wonder if I would have turned out better if I would have just listened to what he was saying.
Branson has always been on my radar for as long as I can remember – primarily as inspiration or my own business/entrepreneurial endeavors. He is probably the only billionaire that I actually believe when they offer the advice “Don’t focus on making money. Just focus on what makes you happy.” He is one of the few that actually embodies that. His interactions with Tutu are so amazing. He helps teach him to swim. They splash around in the pool like children. Tutu takes jabs at Branson for being too rich. I don’t know… it was very touching. During a conversation about money and happiness, Branson tells Tutu… “You are far happier than any millionaire that I know.”
I recommend that you go out of your way to watch this episode of Iconoclasts. It loosely centers around a group that Branson founded and Tutu leads called The Elders. It is a group of globally respected icons that take it upon themselves to help solve conflicts that impact people around the world. President Bush cannot go to Africa and command any sort of respect, but Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, Mary Robinson of Ireland, Nelson Mandela, and Jimmy Carter certainly can – and they do.
Hearing these guys talk makes my previous post feel like it is on the same intellectual level as Sesame Street, and it really is.