Great Leaders, Great speeches: Jimmy Reid

glasgow university by Gavin Gilmour via FlickrJimmy Reid: Orator and Visionary

Jimmy Reid will not be known to many people outside the UK.  Nor will he be known to many Gen Yers.   I hard vaguely on the news that he had died but thought little.

Then on Saturday I stumbled over Jimmy Reid’s 1972 speech to Glasgow University which was reprinted in its entirety by The Independent.  I was so excited.  I thought a new leader had burst into UK politics.

I was half way through the speech before the penny dropped.  1972 – 4 decades ago and every bit as relevant a maninfesto today.

As a speech, it may not be quite on the same plain as “I have a dream”.  It doesn’t have the simplicity or the connection to images shared with a huge audience.  It’s too thoughtful.  It might rank up there, though, with Obama’s speech to the Democratic Party in 2004.

Here is a Wordle of the speech (via ManyEyes.)  I am going to do more work with speech.  I’d love your comments and requests.

To the American people & your better angels at the dawn of 2010

Wise words for business students

In every business school, first year students are taught these words.

I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.


You will recognize the words of Abraham Lincoln at the close of his Inauguration.

The better angels of our nature

We recognize the counsel to students.  Follow the common story Speak for the better angels of our nature.