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Sunday, 15 January 2012

Tough Times? It’s The Spirit That Beats Adversity!

The BBC World Service runs a daily programme called Outlook, presented by the admirable Matthew Bannister, which scours the world for extraordinary and uplifting stories of people who have come through adversity and have, in many cases, have not only than survived but have prospered.

A recent programme, for instance, featured an Afghan woman who had opened a bowling alley (I kid you not!), a Saudi Princess speaking out against prejudice in the Kingdom and a Chinese man who had lost both his legs in an accident and had become a renowned sculptor.
It brought to mind a quote from the Roman philosopher, Cicero (106BC to 43BC) who said:
“The spirit is the true self. The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure”
What a great attitude with which to start a new year. 
Talking to one of my Vistage members yesterday, he said that when he is hiring someone, they go through all the obvious characteristics such as technology and experience, while he looks specifically for that spark that indicates a higher level of commitment and enthusiasm.
It is a manifestation of the spirit and can’t be assessed in any scientific way, nor perhaps should it be.   It implies that the individual has an approach to business and, indeed, to life in general, that is special.
These individuals are not always easy to manage but given a measure of freedom, their output can well justify the extra effort put into them.
In the end, it is the team that will deliver success and a group of high performing individuals can be a very exciting way to achieve that success.
It is useful to use the Belbin analysis of team types (contact me if you would like more information) to help ensure that there is balance in the team, but, in every case, it is talented people with the will to excel and win that we need above all else.
Get the right people on the bus, all facing in the same direction; they will make things happen.

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