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Business as a route march, or Business as a quest

I hosted a dinner last night for a group of CEOs and the word ‘quest’ came up, as it has fairly frequently over the past month or so. The concept resonated with the group and I felt it might be useful to unpack the idea of a ‘quest’ here for your benefit.

Mindset matters, we know that. It constantly amazes me how a mindset – a simple thought pattern – has the ability to change so much: energy levels; positivity; outlook.

You see this on steep climbs in the Tour de France, and I often find myself wondering how the riders are controlling their thoughts whilst under such duress – miles from the top of the climb, under pressure, knowing what’s to come.

One false thought when in the ‘red zone’ can shut their body down. Almost immediately it seems – you can literally see it the moment it happens. 

I’ve found that when CEOs see their business journey as a ‘quest’, everything changes. I had that moment last night with one of the CEOs: her shoulders loosened immediately, a slight smile of relief broke out across her face and her energy lightened.

Seeing the building of a business as being a quest seems to put all the ups and down in context – almost like they’re expected and not that big a deal. They will be overcome, there will be more and they’re all solvable through application and creativity.

The opposite is to not see the adventure of the business journey: the expedition. To miss the mystery of it all and the beauty in dealing with the unexpected curve balls that continually are sent the CEO’s way. The honour in enduring. The nobility of the effort.

Be an adventurer with work as your mission. 

It’ll feel like an entirely different and better proposition.

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