“It’s a philosophy for life, and a mantra for leadership. It’s a simple mantra. It’s a mantra that works. And I’m amazed that no matter how many times I use it – any part of the world, all industries, all ages, all genders, all walks of life – it resonates just as much with the next group as it did with the last.
Maybe we’re getting too caught up in ambition. Ambition is great; necessary even for progress. Ambition can be a marker for momentum. But let’s not focus disproportionately on ambition at the expense of human connection. First and foremost – investing in one another, learning about one another, walking a mile in each other’s shoes, as Atticus Finch so eloquently suggested that we do in that Harper Lee classic – the process behind the ambition.
I spend a lot of my time in the professional sports arena, where ambition and a relentless focus on results often drives disconnection, disappointment, disharmony. Athletes and Coaches spend decades chasing something they never really understood in the first place, to end up heartbroken, aimless and without hope. If they focussed more on the process along the way – the process of being and becoming great people, rather than chasing great performance – they would have more success, enjoy the journey more, and make a more positive contribution to their environment along the way. Process over Results. Heart over Head. Connection over Ambition.
Let’s also aim to keep things simple. The world is full of complexity, and many don’t have the knowledge, experience or inclination to navigate through something which they don’t understand. Our aim should be to make the complex simple, to take people on the journey, and bring some meaning to the mire.
My aim is quite straightforward – to help people think differently and make positive change in their lives. That change starts with encouraging people to see that in every environment, every one of us can make a difference. We all have the power to make a contribution to the communities and cultures around us – at home, at school, at work, in sport, in life. However small or large it might seem. And it starts by investing in the people around us. One smile, one conversation, one spark of interest and connection at a time. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
If s p a c e 2020 is one of those steps, you’re definitely heading in the right direction.