As everyone in Chemistry Towers knows I went to my first ever F1 Grand Prix the other weekend in Barcelona and it was absolutely A-Maze-Balls!!! The whole experience of being at the first corner was simply epic! The sheer sound, speed and beaming sunshine made the weekend magical!
But in regards to the actual race, it was very entertaining but did it have much substance? Was it real racing? The answer to this is simply ‘No’…. The four pit stops per driver required because of the high degradation of the Pirelli tyres made it really difficult to follow. This tyre degradation problem means drivers do not race flat out in order to ‘save’ the tyres. The ‘substance’ argument is further cemented from complaints from the current F1 Drivers and Constructors Champions, Red Bull who believe their ultimate speed is being compromised as they do not want to blow their tyres and not score any points.
Roger Federer. The record holder for the most Grand Slam singles titles. A Swiss legend who has spent more time as world number one than any other player in history. A recognised global icon. Watch him in action and you’ll not only witness his immense prowess with a tennis racket, but also see how effortlessly he reads the ball and his opponents to strategically position himself to have the upper hand. A true master of the sport with the accomplishments to prove it – but is it always such a smooth ride?
The short answer is no. Federer’s rivals have been building their own hall of fame credentials in recent years with both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic winning 3 of the 4 major titles in 2010 and 2011 respectively. It’s now the halfway point of the current tennis year and Federer has yet to reach a singles final, having suffered some somewhat shocking defeats already. He offered some insight into how he copes with such setbacks in a recent post-match interview, from which I took three lessons that I believe everyone could benefit from.
We’ve all heard the old adage about having to kiss many frogs before finding a prince (or princess) right? Well, forget all that nonsense, stop wasting your time even looking for that blue blooded, quail chomping, Richebourg Grand Cru quaffing inbred. Instead, you should simply kiss a hedgehog!
KISS is an acronym for ‘keep it simple stupid’ and a hedgehog is a spinal mammal of the subfamily Erinaceinae. However, it’s also a business concept relating to three imperatives of which we’ll focus on here.
A hedgehog concept consists of three simultaneous interactions, in the form of self-questioning, that require brutal honesty and reflection if to be successful.
1) What can I be best in the world at?
2) What puts wind in my economic sails?
3) What am I deeply passionate about?
Lets briefly unpack this. Asking yourself ‘what you can be the best in the world at’ does not mean what you want to be the best at – it simply means letting your ability, not your ego determine what you attempt. The wind in your economic sail is simply the insight into the single denominator (i.e., what will create the most return) that subsequently will have the greatest impact on your business strategy. Being deeply passionate simply means acknowledging what you are already, or could in the future become, deeply passionate about; it is not deciding to get passionate about something, that when being real, you couldn’t care less for!
Coming to the end of our first week in the business my concept of a learning curve has been unrecognisably shifted! As Chloe, Stefan and Mark summed up nicely in their blogs, the first week provided a truckload of information relevant to all aspects of the Chemistry experience. From learning the products and services provided to rethinking our approach to nutrition, there was plenty to take on board.
What followed in week two was an entirely different kettle of fish…