It‘s Only Funny (and Meaningful) if it’s Relevant

Perhaps you’ve read about places where “honor culture” obligates people (ok, typically men) to protect their reputations by answering insults, affronts, and threats, often with force and violence.

Yemen is one of those countries. When I got an opportunity to speak at TEDxTaiz I began thinking deeply about the place, the people, the culture and what I might possibly have to share that would be meaningful.

​Power vs. Force by David Hawkins is an amazing book that caused me to realize is that “honor culture” is actually “shame culture.” Hawkins names “Shame” as the lowest level of human consciousness.

I know shame intimately and thought that sharing my deep experience with shame, and how I survived it, it might make a difference for some in the mostly male audience. [I’m proud to say that TEDxTaiz had 50/50 women and men on stage, however.] That’s how I settled upon my topic and my message for TEDxTaiz: “Fear of Failure and Shame Preclude Innovation.”

In this video I am proudly wearing traditional Yemeni garb which was a gift from the organizers. This talk was translated by the Emcee and organizer my friend, Mo Murad. If it seems a little choppy it’s because the realtime translation he did has been removed.

This talk means a lot to me. I’d love to know what you think of it.

JKB

PS, The October Speak Like a Leader Experience begins soon! Join us for this 10 week, 8 person cohort to identify, craft and deliver your powerful TED-like talk. It’s transformative and very fun.

PSS, Although Yemen is in the midst of a humanitarian disaster, my friend Mo is still well, and I’m proud to say that the speakers at TEDxTaiz were 50/50 women and men. Please take a moment of silence and send you best thoughts to Yemen.

How John Bates blew his TED TalkBy JOHN BATES / ABOUT AUTHOR
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