It was Prize Giving at my daughter’s school on Friday, and Nick Baker, a Bristol Businessman, was invited to give an address to the pupils.
Having been a past student at the school and a successful businessman, Nick offered some insights into what it was like to be the one sitting where we were listening to the speaker on stage, and now to be invited back many years later to be the speaker.
Encouraging the pupils who were leaving to go on and do better things, he explained that the one question he’s often asked about business is whether there is a magic bullet to being successful. His response was …
“There Is No Magic Bullet To Success”
Simply because Nick says, success is made up of various elements and not one standalone attribute.
However, Mr Baker gave them three principles he said would certainly keep them moving towards a better future:
- Find the thing that you’re passionate about and do it. When you’re happy, it makes all the difference to what you do and where you end up in life. So whatever you do, pursue your passion.
- Live with integrity. This was an interesting one to me since my daughter has been at that school for 10 years now and integrity is one of the character traits that is held in high esteem. It was great to hear an Old Colstonian, as they are called, go back some 30 years and still talk about how the integrity he was taught by the school has opened many doors for him.
In fact, Nick Baker relayed a story of how he agreed with a buyer to enter into a deal that would result in him making a loss, but would give him more visibility. The company had no idea that when they buyer said he would make a loss that she really meant, the company would “suffer” loss. To fulfil their part of the bargain, they had to hire in extra staff to fulfil orders, pay overtime, and the list went on.
At the end of the contract, the buyer told Nick Baker how successful it had all been. He told her that it may have been successful for her, but for him, he made a real loss.
But then came the turn of events as the buyer explained to Mr Baker that he was the first person she had worked with on such an agreement who had kept his word. As a result, not only was his product (a condiment) put in more stores than he dreamed possible, the buyer asked him to manufacture a new line because they had just pulled the plug on another supplier who had failed to keep their word.
I don’t know about you, but I’m as guilty … I’ve been known to say I’m going to do something and then not do it, change my mind or decided it’s just not worth my investment of time or money.
Having heard this story today, it made me rethink what integrity looks like. It goes beyond honesty and asks of you to be a keeper of your word.
Judgement. And not just about who you should bring into your circle of influence, but how well you look well into a matter.
None of these three attributes, Nick Baker said, require any qualifications.
I was inspired. And as for my daughter, on the way home she said how proud and grateful she was to be able to attend that school since she knows that not every child has the opportunity to be exposed to such real life lessons.
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s a great idea to instil these 3 basic principles into our children at the youngest age possible.
As their school moto states …
Go and do thou likewise