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What a 15-year-old meth addict taught me about leadership | Brian Fretwell | TEDxBoise

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How do you lead someone who knows what they need to do to change their life but—despite all your help—isn’t going to do it? Brian Fretwell was confronted with this scenario repeatedly during his time as a teacher in the chemical addictions unit of a juvenile corrections facility. The honesty of a 15-year-old meth addict, and the wisdom of a mentor, reframed Brian’s definition and practice of leadership. Brian Fretwell helps people realize their value. He began his professional career as a teacher in juvenile corrections, empowering disenfranchised kids to do things they didn’t believe they could. From the Australian Outback to the Arctic Circle, today Brian teaches individuals, teams, and companies how to draw out their hidden potential. He got an MBA, ran a 100-mile ultra-marathon, overcame his fear of flying, and wrote a book because he didn’t think he could do any of them—and being a hypocrite isn’t his style. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx
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Text Comments (2706)
John Palumbo (2 days ago)
You can still do a good, powerful & emotional TedTalk without forced drama and lame acting. Besides, we all know Nathan is imaginary and this guy lost his teaching license like 4yrs ago for selling meth to students. In fact, the arresting officers name was....Nathan.
Seale Yang (3 days ago)
meth kills maths also kills
Ubi Vermis Cerritulus (4 days ago)
Is it pleasant knowing that whoever you are if you're reading this you will die soon?
And She Was (4 days ago)
This dude should go back to acting 101, he stinks.
Arya Black (4 days ago)
Wth happened to Nathan no don't go
Isn't meth expensive?
adam levitzki (8 days ago)
this guys a little to emotional
Blake B. (20 days ago)
Couldn't handle the breathing
Weronika Badach (23 days ago)
are this man's jeans green that's wild
Zach Phillips (30 days ago)
Is this Good Will Hunting
digitalphreedom (30 days ago)
Amazing.. you discovered that drug addicts are people too! With hopes and dreams! Just like the rest of us! Wow, suddenly my eyes are open! From here on, I will use BOTH my hands to pat you on the back
Grady Pratt (1 month ago)
Annoying fake crying.
Boofy (1 month ago)
This guy doesn't strike me a good counselor
Mohamed El-Ansary (1 month ago)
This guy should be an actor
joco7977 (1 month ago)
Somebody, give this dude an Oscar
MemeLordLols 45 (1 month ago)
That asmr doh
Jackson G (1 month ago)
I'm more bored and bored by these ted talks. My main question is, why is Nathan not on the stage?
Kym SHIRLEY (1 month ago)
When you're open to learn from someone you thought you could never learn from that's when you being to grow as a person. Thankyou for sharing this. I hope Nathan finally found what he was looking for and achieved what he wanted.
Donkey (1 month ago)
"what a 13 year old Thai Ladyboy taught me about proper head"
Donkey (1 month ago)
+Viktor Sivi I think anyone who takes tedx talks seriously is a self-important jackass
Masked B1tch (1 month ago)
Beautiful. I have a troubled brother in law, maybe not quite as bad as Nathan, but definitely with some demons. I'm the only one with enough human intelligence to see that he's hiding a lot of pain under a tough boy exterior but I never knew how to approach it and try and help him through these harsh times. Everyone always told me not to worry about him, that he's happy with how he is right now, that it was none of my business, and they got me to just let it go even though it hurt me turning my back on him. This just gave me the inspiration I needed to try helping him. My husband said he thinks the kid is going to grow up to be a drug dealer. I'm going to change that. Wish me luck.
TanmayGarg (1 month ago)
Guys....I am 16 and um ...it's not like my family is a problem...if. You understand what I'm trying to say.......it's like...I live my life thinking that everyday might be the last day with my parents...for no reason I think that.....and I always fail to show my love for them......all I want to say is don't be like me....I never made my parents proud period.Just go and love them
TanmayGarg (1 month ago)
+Zentark101 thank you so much😭😭😭
Zentark101 (1 month ago)
i wish on to you to live the best and most prosperous life you can live. as long as you're doing your best to live a healthy life for yourself, nothing should really make you think otherwise
KustomiseT (1 month ago)
This is a video worthy of putting to a playlist to be watched later in life or to link someone this video. I recommend making such a playlist on YouTube, for the videos that are worth seeing again.
KustomiseT (1 month ago)
This video is so motivating.. I have been afraid of the light I suppose, but this teacher helped me.
KustomiseT (1 month ago)
This video is amazing since you can ask yourself these questions and move forward. A person can be amazing at helping themselves, many people are good at managing like themselves or like reflecting on themselves/pondering about stuff... Some have the ability to be their own therapist sort of since a person can help themselves that much, but it requires a lot from a person. But there is the problem that the person can push it, push the time and leave these things for a later time. I would say that this video helps a person right now. This video is really motivating, a good guidance and helps or at least helped me to reflect on things right now and make moves which will put the gears spinning. What I mean by putting gears spinning that there are things which you can only move with effort, only by effort. But then there are things which require time more and effort only over time. So I recommend to do those things which put the gears spinning even if you won't do anything else, since when you get the motivation you can't do them any faster.. The things that only progress with effort like let's say courses, school etc. those are things which are better left for a proper time for them. But I always recommend and tell people to put the gears in motion with the things you can, since I have learned to do that myself when trying to manage time when I have been too sick to live life. So I have been doing nothing for 2 years at least and finally I have started to move on. What helped was putting gears into motion back in time and now those things have started to get somewhere =D
Jonathan Gomez (1 month ago)
When he mentions his work buddy Sal, all I think of is Sal Vulcano 😂😂😂
Marian Dani (1 month ago)
omg. this was really powerful. i can tell how much he was moved by just telling the story...
Donkey (1 month ago)
Same Hyde's Ted talk was better
vineeth karnawat (1 month ago)
M. M... M. M. M.. M... M.. I'm... M. I'm................ M....
Yasmin Gill (1 month ago)
can anyone do a ted talk nowdays??
Jimlard Johnson (1 month ago)
I can always rely on Ted talks for titles of the year
zeds dead (1 month ago)
Grammy Award goes 2... >.>
Liam Greig (1 month ago)
I hope she led you not to do meth (I didn't even watch the video)
Joel W (1 month ago)
Ture Vedin (1 month ago)
Kacchan is beautiful (1 month ago)
I kept reading ''math addict'' and I was so confused lmao
GbZaid (1 month ago)
These click bait titles are getting out of hand.
Tiago Martins (1 month ago)
Nathan is the most honest person that I ever "meth"
Nestor Mandela (1 month ago)
I really hate this emotional bs. I hope the story is totally made up, because if not he's using a child's tragedy to sell his product. Disgraceful.
Strahl Nahrung (1 month ago)
unauthentic to me, felt like a Batman audition. also don't excert leadership on friends in the bar
Curt Heisler (1 month ago)
This elicited an emotional response, which in turn has provided inspiration. Good talk.
Peter Parker (1 month ago)
Nathan could be living with his family right now watching this, he could've went back to his old ways, he could even be dead. But that doesn't make his actions any less powerful. When I tell people what I want I joke "a million dollars" "100000 followers" but in reality I want to be loved, i want a family that loves me. I want to be happy.
Inorganica Basica (1 month ago)
As someone who lost a close friend to drug abuse, this was deeply touching
FBI (1 month ago)
Whats with that breathing though? 😂😂😂
Shiloh Stout (12 days ago)
Ah, you know. People do it to live
laura steadman (1 month ago)
his little wheezes are a adorable 😭
Zedament (1 month ago)
Oh god here come the water works! Amazing story!
Ty Miller (1 month ago)
Man, the parts where you "Got sad, and 'anguished' toned". I understand you may have been doing it for like narrative, or wtv, story telling purposes. Just saying came of a lil' ehh.. Other than that man awesomeness! (Haha, I love how I typed that like dude would ever see it :P Whateva! )
Hans Samuel (1 month ago)
13:52 It's not me *It's we* *USSR ANTHEM*
Ary Bolaños (1 month ago)
Hey we all breath. We just do not have a microphone right next to our mouth.
Justin Chaney (1 month ago)
TedX is the poor man’s Tony Robbins
Cold Potato17 (1 month ago)
This is my favorite video on YouTube
Fynn Novak Tiessen (1 month ago)
What happened to Nathen
E. P. (1 month ago)
Paul Rone-Clarke (1 month ago)
Where are these comments attacking his breathing? I see lots of people defending but who or what are they defending him from? I've scrolled down looking for comments for 10 minutes and found squat.
Ellie Frush (1 month ago)
Çağatay Özkan (1 month ago)
this is the most passionate presentation in the ted history
jollyjollyO (1 month ago)
wow this is incredible. very profound ideas here.
Vanessa Holbrow (1 month ago)
I hate you
john cuting (1 month ago)
Says Something About him breathing and existing Comment Section: LAGOVHNOboSEBUVO{BSOEUBvoebsvoHOWDAREU *Read more*
john cuting (1 month ago)
Great speaker, Nice job
Edward Cox (1 month ago)
GREAT Vedio...one of the most enjoyable Ted Talks I have seen...
fawbak. (1 month ago)
A little dramatic
Lunaztra Z (1 month ago)
You ask why he breathing like that? Trenbolone Cycle bro
Tom Nicholls (1 month ago)
Good Will Hunting anyone?
Simone Dandin (1 month ago)
lmao in america they let you interact with children without basic interviwing skills or instructions on how to build an empathetic relationship with the client... ay just tell the kid what to do or ask leading questions they sure going to listen
Ephemeral Q. (1 month ago)
Brilliant speaking skills and delivery of the story
jo nicole (1 month ago)
this really hit home
Tim-J.Swan (1 month ago)
*sip* ahh not my proudest frap
Comrade Corbachev (1 month ago)
I don't understand the criticism of the crying. He was crying on command in a way that illustrated the emotions of the child. Especially towards the end, this was some of the most gripping public speaking I've ever experienced.
Robert H (1 month ago)
I really want to know where Nathan is.
princesskind712 (1 month ago)
This has to be among THE BEST lessons I have heard in a long time. Thank You.
TheRadFactor (1 month ago)
Wasted 11 minutes of my life. Stopped when the acting became very poor.
PotatoWizard (1 month ago)
literally every comment is people defending him over his breathing i havent seen one attacking his breathing
Dustpanda Music (1 month ago)
Oh I'm about halfway through and was checking the comments to see if Nathan turned out killing himself, I thought he was getting upset recounting this.
Agassi Hua (1 month ago)
Haha legit!
Hadzoni (1 month ago)
same yoo
Mitchell Rutkowski (1 month ago)
Cliiiiiick baiiiiiiit
Vann Gogh (1 month ago)
damn I need to do meth to feel manly again
Binary Ryuga (1 month ago)
I thought the title was “what a 15 year old math addict told me about leadership”
Dab on Someone (1 month ago)
When is Ted gonna talk
Zain Chupacabra (1 month ago)
This story had a 90% chance of revealing that he is Nathan.
Dennis Teti (1 month ago)
I’d imagine it was nothing.
Roman A. (1 month ago)
I actually used to always ask my little brother many questions about his hopes and dreams, but he got annoyed of me asking so I stopped. But now I know that I should keep asking.
San the Man (1 month ago)
You wouldn't ever notice a particularly honest person lie at all. In fact a person who lies time to time is a liar, only above the very rare compulsive liar who lies for no reason at all.
Julia Niel (1 month ago)
Great speak it really opened up my mind but like how did that kid afford meth...
Maddie L (1 month ago)
one of THE BEST ted talks i’ve listened to
AJtheory (1 month ago)
*Did You Mean:* math addict
Rtkts (1 month ago)
"It's not your fault"
Terry Jeanne (1 month ago)
I questioned so many people in my life-time very few had answers I began to notice. Determined to find better answers I have met a few leaders ,many more nathans . Thank you.
picket sign (1 month ago)
How a (insert random person) taught me (things that people want to learn). Eg. How a Baker taught me to play fortnite.
Kevin Smith (1 month ago)
I am a recovering meth addict. luckily, i have been sober for over 3 years. I was ruining my life, and if someone would have asked me in recovery... "what is your plan when you get out of here?" my answer would have definitely been "Do Meth, duh". But one day I decided to just quit doing it. I'm not sure what made me decide this, but I am so happy I did. Good TedTalk.
killboi207 (1 month ago)
Smart man.
biker (1 month ago)
People will not stop using , until they have no other option . All the counselling in the world will do nothing. They will get clean or die , that's it .
Areach (1 month ago)
The issue with the beating is that it gets far more exaggerated when he gets closer to something he is trying to emphasize. This can create a deeper sense of feeling in the material he is presenting but if he does not maintain the level of intensity it seems less like a genuine feeling more like a way to emphasize his message. When an emotion seems false people pick up on that subconsciously. The message was strong and a good one at that he didn't need to over sell it.
pat winn (1 month ago)
Authentic and genuine Brian. You moved me with your honesty and passion, Don't change a thing!
Gabriel Oren (1 month ago)
Put your god damn hands in your pockets
jerry lamerveille (1 month ago)
Geeeezzzzz theeeeee brrrreeeeeaaaatttthhhhiiiiinnnnnggggggggggg
Egalitarian Faggitron (1 month ago)
Chico DePuertoRico (1 month ago)
When I was a kid, there was a girl in our neighborhood, no older than 13, maybe? She was a drug addicted... I'm not sure if it was meth... but she was an addict. She lived with a man, probably in his 60s... probably abusing her... This broke my heart... Broke my mother's heart, too... because My mother hurt for her. In retrospect, I'm a little ashamed of my mother for never calling the authorities on this man... :/ Awful... just an awful awful memory... :(
wegoairsoft (1 month ago)
"They don't want our answers, they want our participation" -That is profound.
Taylor Hightower (1 month ago)
metyh taught me the centerfold of the universe and how it operates the wedge it all started with the wedge and the wedge was the beginnijng of it all it started therte i loved how it helped us crush mammoths and we could roll big bouklders ontop[ ofg them
Adventure (1 month ago)
So many people complaining about the people who complain about the breathing. Can every one just shut up and appreciate the lesson. Thank you
Jonathan Johnson (1 month ago)
Leaders can’t ask that simple question “what do you want” with enough sincerity because they haven’t figured out what they want
clover (1 month ago)
there are more comments about people complaining about comments on his breathing than there are actual comments on his breathing taking away from this speech.

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