One might think the obvious choice would be Barak Obama, although I have to admit Thabo Mbeki & Hugo Chavez were also under consideration and a few lesser known names as well. However, despite this “award” my contempt for politicians in general remain unabated, particularly those named Blair or Brown and i’m certain that very little (if anything) will change for the better under Obama. I in fact saw very little of the American leadership contest even the Clinton/Obama bit, and I was shocked when I woke up to the news that Obama had won because i’d though the election was on the Thursday, not the Tuesday.
So the award actually goes to another American Congressman, Ron Paul who set up the Campaign for Liberty after pulling out of the race to be Republican candidate for the American Presidential Election. His 2006 speech to congress “The End of Dollar hegemony,” detailing the detrimental effects of banking and paper money has really been “under-reported” but remains unique in it’s analysis and clarity for something delivered by a main stream western politician in recent times.
It’s Usain Bolt vs Michael Phelps and despite the magnificent achievement of Phelps and some other great olympic performances that took place I have to give it to the Jamaican Bolt. Firstly i’m a big athletics (track & field) fan, and lets face it, everybody has a 100 metre sprint champion with no special equipment needed or fast suits, so it’s a true test. Many observers also feel that with the American crackdown on performance enhancing drugs that this is the first time in years that there has been a level playing field. Of course just watching some people fulfil their dreams and others having theirs shattered makes for great stories one way or another, and noting just how much time and effort great sportsmen put into training and preparation is a great motivational lesson for all of us. Formula 1 racing champion Lewis Hamilton was also in the frame.
As a business plan you can’t get any better than this. Invent some investment scheme, attract some investors, borrow money to give them returns like they’ve never had before and let the word spread. The bank.s making money, you’re making money and your investors are making money. The ultimate pyramid scheme. So the award must go to Bernard Madoff who managed a feat of entrepreneurial genius in keep it going for so long before finally confessing to fraud. However the story doesn’t end there as we find that the “confession” may be part of the biggest insurance scandal in modern history (see article).
Now, in these pages we are not advocating that type of criminal or dishonest behaviour but perhaps we can take the lesson to THINK BIG in 2009 with some really groundbreaking projects, schemes and approaches to business.
Please feel free to share your own alternative suggestions for award winners