Today, I write in praise of fools.
Truth telling is a tough, transgressive role.
Many of the best thought leaders are, at heart, fools.
Most of us want to be liked.
We also want our ideas to be liked / respected.
It takes courage to go against the grain.
To challenge the world.
And say — no, you’ve got it all wrong.
I think that the best thought leadership work embraces the role of the wise fool.
The history of #science is filled with people who were willing to embrace the role of the fool.
When Galileo Galilei was asked to recant his statement that the earth moved around the sun.
The Office of the Inquisition “showed” him instruments of torture.
They put Galileo on trial.
And yet, at the end of the trial, he is believed to have whispered “eppur si muove” to the inquisitors.
Defiantly saying, “And yet [the Earth] still moves.”
What does it take for us to assume the role of the fool in our own work?
👀 Look at the world differently
💡 Pursue truths when others walk away
💬 Speak truths others are unwilling to speak
🃏 Challenge norms and assumptions
How do we distinguish between the Fool and Folly?
People who embrace the role of the Fool have to stay humble.
“No [one] is wise at all Times, or is without [their] blind Side.”
So, to all those willing to play the fool — speaking up
🔬 as #scientists in the laboratories
📈 in the meeting
📰 in journalism
🎭 in the arts
Thank you. The world needs you as truth tellers.
You are doing important and difficult work.
Most weekdays and some weekends.