Last week I was lucky enough to be invited along to hear ‘The world’s greatest living explorer’, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, speak about his expedition to circumnavigate the globe from pole to pole through the world’s vertical axis. A truly inspirational man who not only knows a thing or two about exploring, but about picking the right team to succeed.
When asked, ‘How did he pick the right people to deliver on his record breaking ambitions?’ it was assumed that he’d go for proven polar explorers, super-fit and mentally tough athletes or expert navigators with a degree in engineering, dentistry and extreme survival.
In-fact, from the 800 applications who were willing to work for nothing and with no guarantee for success, he opted for a beer salesman and a butcher. Neither had any exploration experience, let alone experience of working in some of the harshest climates in the world.
The reason behind his thinking was; “You can teach skills but you can’t teach character”. He picked a team he could work with, trust to get the job done and most importantly had self-motivation to succeed.
Here, sitting in the comfort of my own desk, it made me look to see if there are any comparisons or lessons that can be learnt in our own business. The reality is that there are huge similarities.
In the world of PR, communications and consultancy – people buy people. The work we do is not an exact science but one that is based around people and that continues to evolve and progress. The best people are those that are natural communicators, adaptable and that build trusted relationships with clients, along with having a common goal and a positive attitude in achieving it.
We’re proud of our client retention rates and the results we consistently deliver. This, in my view, is down to the team and their positive ‘can do’ approach when undertaking the great work that they do. So, for me it’s attitude over aptitude every day, even if we’re not working in total darkness and at minus -85°F.