Simon Cohen hit the headlines when he gave away his communications agency Global Tolerance for the riches of family life!
Simon initially followed a conventional path to wisdom. In his search for answers, he studied Theology at university, but was instead faced by a cul-de-sac of questions. He started a traditional career in advertising, but in choosing status and salary over personal values, he failed to find happiness.
At the age of 24, he decided to defy society’s ideas about what it means to be wise, wealthy, and happy today. He set up Global Tolerance, a communications agency to spread messages of hope. In the following decade, Simon travelled the world, representing the Dalai Lama, Gandhi’s grandson, and many of the world’s wisest women, men and children.
Simon was a regular Pause for Thought contributor on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2. In 2013, he became the first person in the UK to place his whole company on sabbatical. A sought after keynote speaker, his talk Challenging Conventional Wisdom was the most popular talk on Trendhunter, the world’s leading trend site, for six months running.
At the end of the sabbatical, spent writing and considering what would be best for Global Tolerance and his family, Simon came to a momentous and (some say) crazy decision. It was time to give away the company he founded.
Simon launched the first ever Open Leadership Exercise (OLE), handing over 95% ownership of Global Tolerance, £10,000 in the bank, a state-of-the-art website, a decade of business contacts, and all the company assets! He hopes that business leaders around the world will consider their own version of an OLE as a new, values-driven type of exit strategy.
Simon lives in Cornwall with his wife Kate, and two beautiful baby girls Seren and Raya. Simon is currently writing a book, blogging for the Harvard Business Review,Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post, and gives keynote talks around the world – as long as he can take his family with him!
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