Monday, December 14, 2009

"It was impossible to say 'no' to him"

David Pecaut, a tireless entrepreneur and activist for the City of Toronto, has died today of cancer. He was 54.

The founder of the Toronto City Summit Alliance and the arts festival Luminato, Pecaut was hailed in a Toronto Star online story today as "the greatest mayor we never had."

I was particularly intrigued by a comment in that story from Toronto mayor David Miller. He praised an ability of Pecaut's that we can all learn from - whether entrepreneurs or activists.

"He always finds ways to make things happen," said Miller. "It was impossible to say 'no' to him because he worked miracles to find common ground where the only answer was 'yes.'"

Finding common ground: surely the most important task facing any business executive, salesperson, entrepreneur or activist.

Thank you, David Pecaut, for showing us what can be.

PS: If you are interested in more, the Star last week published Pecaut's "love letter" to the city: his vision of what it could yet be. Here's an excerpt:

"We can be a city where collective leadership is the norm. A city where civic entrepreneurs are everywhere and the process of bringing all the parts of civil society together to solve a problem is really how the city defines its uniqueness - a city where this quality is the essence of what makes Toronto so special."

You can read Pecaut's last message here.

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