René de Jong


In 2016, I was invited to an event called #MAD2016. I didn’t expect much but I decided to go and join the debate about public leadership, seeing it as a chance to network. Then, Rune By took the stage on behalf of the Public Leadership Foundation. This bearded Norwegian professor shared his view on public leadership, speaking of being MAD through EPIC leadership.

“Being MAD, what does that have to do with leadership?”, I asked myself. But the concept struck me, because I think it is important to look further than the issues of the day. Making a difference and seeing the underlying purpose of what you do is a motivating experience: What responsibility do you have for society and the people around you? What is the underlying purpose of what you do? Can you make a difference? Asking myself these questions, I came to the conclusion that we have a responsibility to be MAD. So being MAD is in fact a way of leading: To make a difference – big or small – by seeing the bigger picture and having the creative and courageous mind to find new solutions and make them work.

The Public Leadership Foundation is setting out to be MAD by EPIC leadership. And I am looking forward to doing exactly that, by developing the movement with the rest of the board and all the MAD people. Like the PLF has inspired me, together we can inspire people to make a difference. Let’s do this!