Fortune doesn’t favour the brave…
A week or so ago I was reading an excellent blog by David D’ Souza, in which David shared his 10 ‘golden nuggets’ , his personal list of inspirational thoughts that had served him so well, so far in his life and particularly his career.
A great list, (which you can see linked below) and a good read, which I heartedly recommend to you, once you have finished here.
David’s blog got me thinking about what I would place top of my own ‘Golden nugget list’, what single thought to offer someone in terms of their own career management, based on my own experiences so far.
Certainly my own working history has been interesting if a little eclectic at times , from Fighter Jets to Fizzy pop, from Crisps & International Seafood with a smattering of Public sector Careers Service and a splash of Soaps and Shower gels… all with the central tenant of maximising the potential of people. Its fair to say I am loving the ride…but what single thought could I possibly offer to someone reviewing their own next steps?
After a coffee and a few minutes thinking, a single thought surprised me a little, one which leapt straight to the front of brain and just wouldn’t budge.. it took me back to a bar room fact picked up only a few weeks ago around the legendary American baseball player, Babe Ruth.
Now, I have to say I know very little about this game of baseball, so do bear with me (like many Englishmen, I grew up believing it to just be Rounders ‘with attitude’)
Nevertheless I still have very clear childhood recollection of the famous Babe Ruth without fully understanding his contribution to American sport and modern American culture. I just knew enough to know he was an important person, an icon, a name that personified greatness.
But this blog seeks not to share his biography. No, there are millions of true fans far better placed than I to do that.
In a moment I would like to share one quite startling, lesser known fact about this man. A fact that might just inspire a thought or two in you for your own career game.
First though, let me tell you what every true baseball fan already knows.
In an unparalleled career Babe Ruth hit the record for the highest number of home runs with an incredible total of 714.
Whether you are a sports fan or not, for a moment please just consider the physical achievement here.
714 times he walked to the plate and hit the ball over 99 metres to a boundary fence or beyond… The equivalent distance of hitting a baseball over either the Statue of Liberty (93m) or Big Ben’s Elizabeth Tower (96m)… He did this 714 times.
714 times the fans jumped to their feet to honour his skill and athleticism.
Still with me? I hope so.
But for me, this still isn’t the most amazing fact about Babe Ruth. No, there is one more…
Consider this …
At the time of his retirement, Babe Ruth, the baseball icon was struck out more times than any other player in history (1330 times in fact).
So for nearly every jubilant jog around the four bases, to crescendos of cheers and applause .. this great man had, twice as often, walked back to his dugout, with the pitcher and the opposing fans vociferously celebrating his failure.
Statiscally speaking, Babe Ruth walked back to the dugout without making a single base 24% of the time.
Statistically speaking, Babe Ruth failed alot.
What does this tell us?
For me it tells us something about the character of the man. Every time he stepped up to bat, he did so ready to make a game winning impact.
Every time he failed, when he walked back slowly to the dugout without a score.. he didn’t worry, he didn’t curl up, he didn’t let the calls of his critics hit home. The facts speak for themselves.
Babe Ruth was prepared to risk failure every time.
He just kept going.
I think Babe Ruth understood some simple truths:
* Greatness isnt rooted in success, its rooted in failure and adversity , or move precisely what you do about it.
* Great people focus on their next hit, never their last miss.
* Bravery isn’t a skill, its a choice.
* Persistence isn’t a talent, its simply a way of being
So, that single maxim that leapt to my brain when I considered David D’Souza’s blog… that thought that just wouldn’t budge… my Golden Nugget, is this:
“Fortune doesn’t favour the brave. It favours the persistently brave. Be brave. Persist.”
Babe wasn’t just brave, he was persistently brave.
His career success is legendary, still something many lesser mortals think and talk about some 80 years after his final game.
Babe Ruth made his mark in the time he had, on every pitch he played.
Please take what you will from this simple tale.
But before you go…
… Had some difficult days this week?
… Did it not map out as expected?
… Did your meeting meander?
… Did your position slide?
… Did your burning platform go out?
… Did your plan deviate?
… Did your team session strikeout?
That is a shame.
You ready to bat again Champ ?
David’s 10 Golden Nuggets Blog: