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Leader Inspiration – Know One Teach One

By March 27, 2011February 14th, 2019Articles, Leadership, leadership

Have you ever briefly met someone that touched your life in a profound way that it’s hard to explain? Someone who is so unassuming and has such a deep sense of courage, passion and social justice.

I was at an event the other night that a dear friend organised as part of her business Designs From Afar. My friend is very passionate about Vietnam and the people, hence she is importing products to Australia. My friend has also decided to sponsor a disadvantaged child in Vietnam living in poverty. Her contribution will fund the education and reassimilation of this child back into a life of happiness and provide the child with dignity. The organisation that facilitates this is called ‘KOTO’ and it stands for ‘Know One Teach One’. The name it’s self struck a chord with me.

The most special part of the evening was a visit by the CEO of Koto, Jimmy Pham. Jimmy had recently been awarded Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Jimmy shared his story of how he got started. He first started helping one child, then grew to eight, which grew to 20 and so on. He saw children selling coconuts on the street and took them noodles to feed their hungry and skinny little bodies. He wanted to help them. He started a small sandwich shop to teach them some life skills; this shop has now grown to a 120-seat restaurant in Hanoi, Vietnam. His belief that if you’re in a position where you can help someone less fortunate, then you should help them and the greatest thanks you can receive is to one day see that person be in a position to do the same for someone else. Pretty special huh!

What I took away from Jimmy and his amazing work, which he likes to point out was started way before Jamie Oliver, was the motivation that drives him to fulfill his purpose. He is an entertaining, quietly spoken, and unassuming man with an illuminating smile. This man is a true leader, he lives and breathes and demonstrates leadership.

It’s not necessarily about what a leader is creating as an outcome that makes them special and attracts the accolades. It is the actions they are taking, it is their mindset; it is creating a society that is better for others. It is their mission of leaving the world in a better place because they were here. That is what Jimmy is doing and that is what we can all do, in our own little way. It doesn’t have to be on a global scale, or national, or even be recognized, the important thing is if we all play out part, the world can only be improved.

“Your vision will become clear
only when you look into your heart …
Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”

~ Carl Jung

To Your Success


P.S. If you would like to hear more about the mindsets, beliefs and actions of successful and inspirational leaders, register to be part of The Business Leadership Academy. It is not about their profession, that is nearly irrelevant, it’s what drives the person to achieve the success that you want an insight to. This is where the gold is. Don’t miss out!