Inspire a generation – Determination and Courage

When Lord Coe and the London 2012 Olympic Bid Delegation travelled to Singapore in 2005 to bid for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, their vision was to use the power of the Games to inspire lasting change.

Since then ‘Inspire a Generation’ has become a phrase we are all familiar with.

As a father of four who took his kids to the Olympics I can tell you they were and remain inspired. You cannot help it.

For me however the last seven days has taken my inspiration to another level. I have found the Paralympics truly awe inspiring.

Countless individuals, who have every excuse under the sun for limiting their ambitions and personal horizons on life, have stepped up and born witness to the Olympic values of Determination and Courage.

How can you not be inspired by these athletes who lacking limbs or vision, are appearing night after night on our TV screens embodying the words Determination and Courage.

Regularly we all pay good money to see Bruce Willis (Die Hard), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator), Angelina Jolie (Tomb Raider) etal, fight adversity and win against all the odds but they are acting!

These Paralympians are doing this for real.

Sadly for some people it may only serve to highlight their own inadequacies, failings or weakness but there is an alternative view.

In my career I have had the fortune to work closely, sometimes managing, some of the leading names in the UK recruitment industry particularly during previous economic downturns. People who are now CEOs, COOs, MDs as well as the finest sales people of two generations now working in some of the world’s leading recruitment businesses.

I see a common quality in them that I see in these Paralympians. In fact I would say it what makes both the Paralympic medalists and our CEOs, COOs, MDs and leading sales people winners too.

For them these challenges and obstacles which the rest of us sometimes allow to limit our horizons and potential are merely hurdles to overcome.

Failure is not an option.

One of these guys once coined the phrase

‘Winners never quit and quitters never win’. Glib, perhaps it may be but as a mantra to live by it can drive you to achieve amazing results that others can only dream about.

Why is this important?

Well today I hear plenty of sales people, managers, directors and business owners bemoaning the economic conditions, the lack of fillable vacancies or limited availability of finance.

If you believe this could be true of you, find time yourself or have your team sit down and watch the performances of Sarah Storey, David Weir or Ellie Simmonds, in fact any of these amazing Paralympic athletes. Have them spend an hour watching and then have them look at the opportunity they have in their life right now.

I am sure it has hurdles and challenges. Obstacles which appear insurmountable but are they any more insurmountable than those of the Paralympians.

When I managed and coached the people who went on to become top sales people what I saw happen was on one level quite magical. As they shifted their mindset from ‘I cant’ to ‘I can do’ then the universe appeared to reward their commitment with opportunities to overcome their challenges. Yes it tested their resolve and sadly some people failed but those that went on to win never did. Even if they failed at the first attempt.

You see it is true.

‘Winners never quit and quitters never win’

Knowlson Family and Medal Winning Rowers Satch & Nash on Tower Bridge

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