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The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.

—Frank Herbert

“The man who is born with a talent which he is meant to use finds his greatest happiness in using it,” says Goethe. I believe I, too, was born with a talent: for experimenting, discovering, and realizing groundbreaking ideas. As far back as I can remember, I have always thought that life is a laboratory where I can play with new ideas. For instance, my dad bought me an electric train when I turned seven. After playing with it for a while, I wondered how it worked. So, I took my dad’s screwdriver and disassembled the engine. Little did I know I was about to learn an important life lesson. My dad didn’t get upset. Au contraire, he encouraged me to figure out how the engine works. Quoting the great Frank Herbert, he said to me, “The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.”

His wisdom stuck with me for the rest of my life, shaping my career. I have been at the forefront of the energy sector over the last two decades. My companies broke ground on many fronts, such as creating Middle East’s first electricity market AMR (Automated Meter Reading) system, helping to privatize and form energy markets, and making Turkey’s first-ever spot gas import, among others. One after another, I brought countless realistic business ideas to life.

Throughout my career, I have learned that realizing a vision is like a three-part equation. First, you must have an uncanny ability to distinguish bad ideas from good ones. As the saying goes, 90% of all ideas are crud. And once you see a worthy vision, you must champion it with all your heart. Next comes moving, motivating, and influencing your stakeholders. Visionary leaders’ biggest test comes when they have to encourage action from people outside their sphere of influence. As the saying goes, some people move when they see the light, while others move when they feel the heat. As a power broker, you must know what motivates whom. Finally, only a successful implementation could validate the value of an idea. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an entire organization to bring an idea to life. Like a conductor, you must make every member of your team work in harmony. Only when your vision gets weaved into your organization’s fabric can your idea materialize. Vision, persuasion, and implementation. That’s what I have built my career upon, and that’s what I intend to share with you here.