Tall Poppies

A great independent story yesterday, from Indaily, on the development of the OTR brand in South Australia, reminded me how quick Australian’s are to cut down our tall poppies.

Love them or hate them, the growth from small business smoke retailers to arguably one of SA’s largest, and most recognisable brands, the Shahin family have simply shown us what strategy, vision and bloody hard work can do for us all.

Likely, this summary of their journey and their market driven approach will attract it’s fair share of arm chair critics, justifying their complaints with some tale of injustice.

At the other end of the scale, I also had the pleasure of working with one of the smartest women I know, a Doctor no-less, a Doctor of Philosophy. This intellectual super power has published 5 books, numerous films and screen plays, completed a PhD and raised independent free thinking humans.

And, yet. What is holding her back. The judgement of others. The fear of feedback from those that haven’t. Stepping out into the publishing world means exposing yourself to the critics and people with tastes different to our own.

This little light of mine.

I am going to let it shine.

To be a creator, a thinker, someone different in Australia means to expose yourself to our infamous ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome‘. That we even have a colloquial, easily understood name for it is sad.

So perhaps, this week, we should just take a leaf from Scott Morrison’s hymn book and simply back ourselves in. Back ourselves in, despite the popular opinion and arm chair critics.

If we are to survive the information age, we need more free thinkers, creators, inventors, doers, writers, entrepreneurs and artists.

For these people will hold the mirror up to us, not to show us our inadequacies, but to show us simply what is possible.

Let us let that little light shine.

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