I was recently asked by a journalist who or what inspires me.
 
My reflex, immediate and natural answer was to reply that I get inspired by life and everything all the time. Sports, current affairs, politics, military campaigns, the Romans etc… my loving parents, my beautiful partner Alex, the ever young and fun Chris Galvin and my amazing Chairman Ken Sanker.
 
Like everyone around the world recently I was very touched and inspired by the life, message and passing of Nelson Mandela. For many people he is as close as one can get to a Saint. Mandela was a sinner by his own admission, nonetheless he was a holy man who articulated and embodied the true meaning of forgiveness by his very actions.
 


Every single head of state, celebrity, journalist or Joe Bloggs had
something to eloquently and kindly say about Mandela and his legacy and
therefore I won’t add to what has already been said by so many.
 
My point today is slightly different or rather it is always about the same thing: Service.
 
For
me service is life – life is service. And (L)ife (in its entirety and
whole diversity) inspires me and the work I do with The Art of Service.
 
On
Monday the 9 of December there was an excellent article in the
Independent newspaper about Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s eulogy of Nelson
Mandela.

Both men were very good friends and Tutu was very candid
about Mandela, his achievements and (dare I say it) his failings. He
said and I quote “His chief weakness was his steadfast loyalty to his
organization and to his colleagues. He retained in his cabinet
underperforming, frankly incompetent ministers who should have been
dismissed. This tolerance of mediocrity arguably laid the seeds for
greater levels of mediocrity and corruptibility that were to come.”

There
above in Tutu’s quotation is even more learning and inspiration to be
drawn from the great Nelson Mandela.  Tutu’s words are a very simple
reminder which I naturally related directly to what I do on a daily
basis during the course of my work and so I wanted to share it with you.

Quality and good service do not come by chance.

It
takes riguour, discipline and determination (mainly and for the most
part). A great manager always works tirelessly to instill  in everyone
in the team a true sense of ownership and responsibility.

If your vision and values are clear and you (really) want to be the best then you must do what it takes to reach this goal.

No one has ever achieved this status by allowing mediocrity, underperformance or incompatibility in their organisation.

So
be disciplined, use your experience, knowledge, good judgment and moral
compass to help you do the right thing and you will get there in the
end.

Make Excellence a Habit!
Fred.