Neville Prior

Lessons from the Ashes

Neville Prior  13 July 2009 10:10:19 AM
I witnessed an extraordinary event on Sunday. I was having a barbecue at a friend's house, in fact there were quite a few of us there. Towards the end of the meal, it suddenly became imperative that we watched the last 20 minutes of the first test match of the Ashes series. Australia had outplayed England in all departments, and the only hope for England, was that we could get a draw. In order to do so, our last batsmen had to remain in play for the last few overs.

As the newspapers and history will tell you, England hung on to get the draw. What I found extraordinary, was the huge outgoing of emotion and praise from around the room, and indeed the country, that we had not lost!

I am not a great devotee of cricket, but I wouldn't mind betting that the skills of the teams are evenly balanced, indeed some would say that England were the better side! What is the difference then? To my mind, Australia are driven by the idea of victory, and to their fans, that is the only result that is acceptable: England however seem less driven, and clearly our fans were happy "not to have lost". Is there a lesson to be learnt in business? For sure there is - successful companies and individuals want to win, not be runners-up: so let's all go out there to win, whether it be the next order, the best service or the greatest market share.
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