Fear, doubt, uncertainty, self-criticism. That’s how it feels. Leadership can suck. That’s why I am putting my hand up for this. And you can too.
Tag Archives | Motivate
I am thinking of Steve Lyons today. It’s 12 years ago this week that Peter and I held his hands as he passed away in Kuala Lumpur from cancer. I am recalling the most powerful and inspiring habit Steve had. It defined him. And stays with me today. Do you do this? If not- start now!
You don’t remember what someone said, or what they did, but you always remember the way they made you feel. And Steve Lyons was an absolutely master at making you feel incredible. Steve made you feel everything and anything was possible- was within your grasp. He lifted your spirits, ambition, drive. He made your heart beat faster. Scott- you know it. Alan- so do you. Eileen- I know you are with me. All who were touched by Steve know exactly what I mean.
And sitting here at Auckland Airport I have absolute clarity about what it was that Steve would do that was so inspiring. So simple. So powerful. Here it is. Steve, quite simply:
I was in the taco queue prior to the Bruce Springsteen concert last weekend when the guy behind me said something totally inspiring. It reminded me of what makes for an exciting life – and an awesome career. Do you have it?
My colleague R was frustrated last week. “I was sitting next to a dull man at lunch. There is just no excuse for dullness. DO SOMETHING! Stand for something! Believe in something! Fail massively at something! Have something to say!!! Just whatever you do- don’t be dull!” It struck a chord. Then while queuing at The Boss, an American voice behind me said to his queue companion: “Oh yes, I was here last night. In fact I travelled here from Hawaii for these concerts. I am a huge Bruce fan. Tonight is the 152nd time I have seen him live.”
And that is what inspired me. That Springsteen devotee had something in his life that we all need. It’s what Rose was looking for. Without it, we are dull- in life, at work, in everything. Here it is. How do you score?
My mind kept wandering while watching the London Olympics to the greatest Olympic moment ever- in my view: a moment of disaster and of triumph- a moment I share regularly with anyone who will listen. It’s a moment with an incredibly powerful message for life, and for success. Here it is.
I got so motivated by the Olympics that I put down the chocolate bar, bought a stop watch and went up to the local oval to time my 400 meter ‘sprint’. Nearly killed me. First go- 2 minutes 12 seconds. Second go- 2 minutes 2 seconds. Third go- there was no third go.
But when I think about the greatest Olympic champion of all, I think not of Bolt, or Phelps, but of an unknown Australian who achieved gold by doing one thing- and one thing alone. It’s an incredibly critical lesson to achieving your goals, and to success. Here’s what he did:
My doctor just told me to lose 20 kgs. 20 kilograms!!! Do you know what I did? I immediately changed doctors. No- seriously- I bought a book by fitness guru Michelle Bridges. And almost immediately read a massive truth. Life changing. Here it is.
Burberry Australia MD Johnny Mutton told me this story. Australian cricket legend Steve Waugh was having his first ‘net’ practice session as a teenager with the Australian squad. Coach Bobby Simpson watched Waugh smashing the ball at every opportunity with youthful aggression.
“You’ll never make it as a top level Test batsmen playing like that,” he counseled a shocked Waugh. “But I wouldn’t bat like that during a real game,” replied Waugh. Simpson’s reply changed Waugh’s destiny. This is what he said:
Tony Blair’s autobiography was a dull read. Then – suddenly- as he was detailing the process he drove to bring peace to Northern Ireland (pretty cool), he shared a tip so powerful that I immediately stole it, and now use every day to help myself, our businesses and people, achieve more. This is what he said.
Actually, I learnt a lot from Tony Blair’s autobiography, but only realized its impact some time after I finished it. For example, the power of taking breaks from the office with senior colleagues… of getting away from the pressure cooker, and calming things down so as to talk deeply and resolve – calmly- complex issues. At STW, CEO Mike, CFO Lukas and I call these our ‘Fresh Air Sessions.’
But it was the technique he used to drive complex negotiations around the Northern Ireland peace process that was his most valuable insight. It’s vital for business success, and to create sustainable momentum.
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