Kofi Annan On Leadership, Education, and Fulfillment

This past Saturday, August 18 of 2018, the world said goodbye to Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian diplomat who served as Secretary-General of the United Nations, humbly accepted a Nobel Peace Prize, and worked on several non-profit foundations focused on promoting peace by developing individuals.

Antonio Guterres, the current UN Secretary-General, said that “Kofi Annan was a champion for peace and a guiding force for good.”

Annan leaves behind a legacy of promoting peace, advocating for justice everywhere, and years of wisdom from leadership at the highest level. Here are a few excerpts and quotes Mr. Annan left us to reflect upon.

On Vision

“To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go, and why you want to get there.”

On Education

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”

“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.”

“Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornertones of freedom, democracy, and sustainable human development.”

“Education is, quite simply, peace-building by another name. It is the most effective form of defense spending there is.”

On Equality

“Gender equality is critical to the development and peace of every nation.”

“There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.”

On Individual Growth

“The right to development is the measure of the respect of all other human rights. That should be our aim: a situation in which all individuals are enabled to maximize their potential, and to contribute to the evolution of society as a whole.”

We thank Mr. Annan for his lifetime of global service.


Training & Development Industry Researcher | Derek researches, discusses, and writes about the impacts of employee learning on organizations and individuals. He regularly interviews L&D and HR professionals, sharing their insight on trends and best practices that help organizations create stronger training programs, and help to grow their employees and their business.