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The 5 Principles of Highly Effective Teachers: Pierre Pirard (Transcript)

Pierre Pirard at TEDxGhent

Here is the full text of former CEO Pierre Pirard’s talk “The 5 Principles of Highly Effective Teachers” at TEDxGhent conference.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here:


What is the common elements between managing companies all over the world and teaching in a school in Molenbeek? Leadership.

In both jobs, you need strong leadership: to manage companies and to teach to kids who face huge difficulties.

Let me tell you how I came to that conclusion.

For 25 years, I’ve been managing companies. I’ve tried to make sure that every single quarter was more profitable, and I really enjoyed it.

I’ve learned that strong leaders apply four basic simple principle.

The first one, they believe, that their team can achieve great results. And because they believe that they think they can achieve great results, their teams start to believe also, they can achieve great results.

Second thing: they set goals, develop a vision for the company.

Third, they make sure that this goal… this vision becomes the everyday priority of their people, their employees.

And last, great leaders… they plan carefully and purposefully to make sure they achieve their objective.

I mean that’s what great leaders are doing and I’ve tried to do that for 25 years. I mean it’s really a tough job.

Four years ago, I was in my mid-40s and I faced what we call a mid-life crisis. Mid-life crisis is a very simple concept. I mean suddenly you realize that living is not forever. I mean, it’s a little bit like a ghost curve. You know you’re at the top of the hill and suddenly you see the end of the origin.

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