Leda Writes for Fintech Futures: what the mouse army taught me

Dr Leda Glyptis 11:FS Foundry CEO
5min read

Every Thursday, Leda Glyptis, CEO of 11:FS Foundry creates #LedaWrites. This week she ponders life lessons from Nana Nicolaou.

You may find this hard to believe but I was a cripplingly shy child. I am still less alpha than you think but my own version of the shaolin monk routine means I have turned my early weaknesses into assets.

It gets harder with age but with age you also learn you won’t win them all and you play to your strengths and hire to your weaknesses, on a personal level, and focus on your purpose, at a business level.

The day it all began

Picture me, six years old, implausibly blonde, seated in a dark theatre loving every minute of a special adaptation of The Wizard of Oz when the mouse king invites kids up on stage to be part of his army.

My mum looked at me with hopeless hope. Not a chance I would stand up in front of all these people. I stayed in my seat. But the mouse soldiers got a medal by the end of the show and, man, how I wanted it.

So after the show I mustered all my courage and marched up to the woman who single-handedly created an art scene for children in Greece, the poet, actor and all-round angel that is Nana Nicolaou and explained I was too shy to join the mouse army but I really wanted that medal and what can one do to earn it?

So she showed me a flimsy strip of tin foil over cardboard and she said, you don’t want this. Because it will only be a scrap of tinfoil until the day you feel the fear but get up anyway. And that day the medal will mean nothing to the brave, and until that day appreciating opportunities missed, getting up to ask and figuring out what you wanted after all was no small thing for a small girl.

It made sense. It felt ok.

She hugged me. We left. And this should have been the end of it.

Only, it stayed with me.

It’s probably why I mistrust people who describe themselves as leaders and why I want conversations in proof points, not PowerPoint. Not because I am redeeming my six year old self, she is happy as a clam. But because what I learnt that day is all you need to know both to keep growing as a person and to stand up a business.

Read the whole story at Fintech Futures.