Tim Smit: Kill negative people!

“Get rid of negative people, they kill ideas. Kill negative people. Those people that say 'you can’t do this' and 'you can’t do that'. Kill those fuckers.”

Don’t you just love Tim Smit, founder of The Eden Project? Tim’s often the wildcard speaker at business events, free-thinking farmer vs ‘cash is king’ capitalists is the usual juxtaposition.

And so it was today at the IoD convention when he followed hot on the heels of chancellor Alistair Darling, who ironically was spinning his own rose-tinted view of the economy. Unsurprisingly, Smit’s view was rather better received.

For a start, in his own words, he’s not very ‘political’– and he’s got similar distain for doom and gloom. Indeed he’s not down about it at all, instead he sees it as a healthy ‘grooming process that was needed’ in order to force business into a new way of thinking and bring through new business models’.

“I don’t believe all the rubbish the Daily Mail tells us about the past being a better place. Try going to the dentist in Victorian Britain and all of a sudden now seems a lot better. The future isn’t scary, it’s bloody exciting. The next 20 years are really exciting.

According to Smit, business leaders shouldn’t become risk-averse in the current climate, they should embrace risk.

“If you haven’t failed you haven’t tried very hard. Has anyone here never failed? [A fair few hands shoot up] Great, you bunch of LOSERS!”

Look out for our full video interview to hear Tim’s views on landing public sector funding, negotiation, motivating staff and leadership.

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