Are You Spartan?
Growing up in Lancaster, I was lucky enough to get into one of the great Northern schools, Lancaster Royal Grammar. Praesis ut prosis (lead that you might serve) is engraved in the pub I have in my Grasmere home. (Well you would, wouldn’t you?!!!!)
I was fortunate to be taught by some inspirational teachers – Doug Cameron, Peter Sampson, Jim Bates – who gave up teaching when he won some lottery money and retreated to North Wales to enjoy the outdoors and Baz Salmon – who introduced me to that great race, the Spartans.
A small City State, who, against all odds, overcame the Establishment (Athens) in the Peloponnesian Wars somewhere around 400BC if my aging memory serves me right. (Too proud to Google it!!)
Who couldn’t be moved by Leonidas and the 300 at Thermopylae?
Spartan means simple, frugal, austere and self-restrained. Laconic is derived from the Spartans (their home is modern day Laconia), pithy and concise from these people who prized brevity of speech.
So, are you Spartan?
1) A Spartan pushes their mind and body to their limits.
2) A Spartan masters their emotions.
3) A Spartan learns continuously.
4) A Spartan gives generously.
5) A Spartan leads.
6) A Spartan stands up for what they believe in, no matter the cost.
7) A Spartan knows their flaws as well as they know their strengths.
8) A Spartan proves themselves through actions, not words.
9) A Spartan lives every day as if it were their last.
Check yourself against this code. Personally and professionally. How do you score? How does your boss do? Your key team members?
Following this Spartan Code would lead to a successful, competitive and happy company in my view.
And to a great Region / Country.
So, are our political leaders Spartans?
Looking at Corbyn, Farage, Johnson, Gove, Fox, Leadstrom and co – how do they score against these criteria? One man’s view:
1) Besides flirting with cocaine and jogging for the cameras, do they really push themselves? Or do they look lazy to you?
2) Emotionally are they in control or are they constantly playing to the camera / public perception and hiding how they truly feel?
3) What have they learned from Brexit in particular? From the outside it looks like they are all lost and have learned practically nothing about how their constituents, the people, feel – and they are clueless on how to negotiate with the EU.
5) General Norman Schwarzkopf said about Leadership “When given command, take charge and do what’s right”. Leadership is based on a moral call, and is about making things happen whilst creating other leaders. This lot?
6) They are all Flip-Floppers.
7) I doubt they have this degree of self-reflection and awareness.
8) Not immediately apparent.
9) A great piece of advice for you and I – but this bunch just look miserable.