Dylan on Leadership

Dylan Thomas, born in Wales a hundred years ago today, is among the greatest poets in a country famous for its poetry. Dylan wrote exclusively in English and one of his best known works is "Under Milk Wood", originally a radio play in poem form, relating the innermost thoughts and dreams of the inhabitants of a fictional Welsh fishing village. It's said to be based on the village of Laugharne, Carmarthenshire.

The boathouse at Laugharne, where Dylan lived and worked, is pictured here. What can we possibly learn from him regarding communication in business?

In some ways, maybe not a great deal, especially as Dylan was not so good with money and sometimes quite difficult to live with. On the other hand, with his poetry translated into dozens of languages, his observations of places, people and emotions seem to appeal to a huge and varied audience around the world. He also knew the world quite well by the standards of his era, spending time in London, and also New York, where he died very young in 1953.

So perhaps this is the point - his ideas and the language he employs resonate very strongly and broadly. "Resonance" is something for leaders to seek in their communication and a word to remember. The key, of course, is a sensitive eye and ear, and the ability to express things in a tone that others can identify and connect with. Dylan Thomas had this talent for sure, but he also worked hard to make it something special.


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