Common Sense in Leadership: Prague Leadership Institute Newsletter Volume 4, Issue 3

The Prague Leadership Institute Newsletter

Developing Leaders for the 21st Century

Dear Readers,
Pepper de Callier
Welcome to our next installment of Project Inspiration.  To those of you who are new to our newsletter, I have asked members of our faculty, and invited guest authors, to write about a book, a story, a person, a movie, a poem—anything—that they have experienced that caused them to act in a way that made them a better version of themselves and brought them closer to the “them” they want to be.  We have had some wonderful contributions so far, and this month is certainly no exception.

First, a distinguished faculty member, Martin Burda, brings us into his life with a trademark mix of humor and insight in his piece, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Running”, a wonderful take off of Haruki Murakami’s bestseller.  Martin is known for his incisive common sense—a trait he demonstrates so well here.

Next up is an impressive and talented young man who I met last year at our Aspen Institute Young Leaders Program retreat in Talle, Slovakia.  His name is Yemi A.D. and he has achieved phenomenal success as a creative artist, choreographer, director, and social activist.  Yemi is now living in Los Angeles where he is the choreographer for the mega-star Kanye West—his videos and global tour—as well as breaking into the world of film directing.   In a thought-provoking piece titled, SELF, Yemi shares some deep insights learned along the way and closes with a poem.

Thank you Martin and Yemi for these wonderful contributions to Project Inspiration.

Each month a member of The Prague Leadership Institute’s faculty, and/or an invited guest author, share their thoughts on a wide variety of leadership-related topics.  To all of them go our sincere thanks for taking the time, and having the generosity of spirit, to share their wealth of experience.

Thank you, too, for taking the time to read our newsletter and for your support.


p.s. One of our distinguished faculty members, Jim Cusumano, is hosting The Leaders’ Workshop, June 4-5 at his renowned chateau, Chateau Mcely.  Jim is passionate about life, balance, and leadership and his life-journey is testimony to it.  Check out the website for the event at
PLI Faculty Member
Martin Burda

What we talk about when we talk about running

Martin Burda
Inspired by Haruki Murakami

Wikipedia: "Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does. Proposed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, this positive psychology concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields."

Where is your flow? In what activity do you get absorbed and what makes you happy deep inside? Naturally, for everyone, it's different - for someone, its playing piano, for someone else, it's painting... for me... it's running.
PLI Guest Contributor
Yemi A.D.


Yemi A.D.
I never liked to read or to study what I was supposed to. The concept of anything that I “must do” was always against my nature. Maybe that is also why it took me quite a while to find my way back to books & education. I started to work at the age of 16, so there wasn’t much time anyway. Life was my school… until I realized I have so many choices and started to enter various courses, summer schools and internships. Many were amazing, but one was very special.

At the age of 25 I decided to dedicate 1 year to studying advertising arts in evening school. Why? One, because I believed I would improve sales in my own businesses and Two, because I love creative arts, especially with measurable impacts on people ...
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