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What inspires you? Who do you look up to? How do you lift yourself up to do great things?
I like to spend a day in the life of my heroes!
I’ve really got into reading biographies recently; I find it fascinating to find out the thoughts of my heroes when they were tackling their biggest challenges. I’ve read at least 5 of the biographies from the England Rugby World Cup winning team of 2003. It’s amazing when you read how similar their accounts of that tournament are and how certain they were that they were the best team in the world clearly capable of winning the biggest prize in their sport.
From a personal perspective there’s a lot I took from reading those books. Clive Woodward’s strategic thinking and pursuit of what he called the ‘critical non-essentials’. The dedication Jonny Wilkinson puts into his practice so he can deliver out on the pitch, the passion that Lawrence Dallaglio puts into rugby and his life, and the work ethic that Josh Lewsey puts into everything he does. I hope some of those things have rubbed off on me as I have devoured the words on the page.
At other times I’ve learnt a lot from reading the biographies of Ghandi and Richard Branson and Steve Jobs. The list is pretty much endless.
Spending a day in the life of your heroes doesn’t just have to apply to reading or watching TV though and you can do it in your work life as well. Having a mentor is a fantastic way of getting inspired and taking advantage of the experiences someone else has acquired without having to go through the pain of acquiring them.
Do you have people at work you look up to? They might be in your department or in another organisation but why not pluck up the courage and ask if you can spend a day in their life.
As Mr Lennon once said it might just “turn yoooouuuu onnnnn….”