Posted by Danny Morris
January 4th, 2012
Apparently 2012 could be a bit tricky. Germany’s Chancellor Merkel said in her recent TV address “next year  will no doubt be more difficult than 2011.” A BBC poll of leading economists finds them predicting a recession in Europe during the first half of 2012. Leaders everywhere are clearly facing tough conditions and yet they are tasked to press on and pursue a path that successfully takes people somewhere better. It reminds me of the challenges faced by the great explorers and pioneers.
Ben Macintyre’s delightful article in the Times on 27th December tells of one of the great pioneer explorers – Dr David Livingstone: “The intrepid explorer was suffering from pneumonia, malaria, foot ulcers and piles so savage he could barely walk. The roasting heat was punctuated by sudden torrential downpours. Many of his porters had run away and he had been forced to pull out most of his rotting teeth. He had been attacked by leeches, slavers and hostile African tribesmen. Lurking in his gut was a blood clot the size of a cricket ball that would shortly kill him.
“In his tent, by the light of a candle, Livingstone picked up his pen and, using berry juice because he had run out of ink, he wrote these magnificent words: ‘It is not all pleasure, this exploration.’”
There will be so many reasons in 2012 for leaders to stop, give up, and take cover. There will be a number of occasions when you’ll feel you can barely walk and that that the way forward is even harder than the tough route you’ve just travelled. But perseverance is a hallmark of great leaders. General Eisenhower said, “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” So here are five things to help put fight or grizzle in your dog in 2012:
- Be crystal clear to yourself and others of your specific goals for the year and why they are achievable
- Do one thing every day that moves forward one of these goals
- Be a champion of hope AND brutally honest about your circumstances
- Find someone who thinks you can be better than you actually are. Listen to them for all you are worth
- Never, ever give up!