Fostering Champions by Robert Porter Lynch.
How does the champion reconcile the seeming conflict between maintaining trust
and integrity and working in a world that is constantly changing and requires frequent
repositioning of the alliance and all its attendant relationships? How does the champion
maintain integrity when the conditions that originally triggered the birth of the alliance are no longer valid? The answer lies in the champion’s tendency to be resilient.
Resiliency is like a spring: the more it is tensioned, the more powerful it becomes.
Champions can bounce back into shape because their spring-steel inner core of values and principles is not altered by circumstances. However, this inner core is surrounded by a flexible outer core of practicality which provides them the freedom to shift with changing circumstances, to be influenced by the insight and wisdom of others, and to avoid rigid thinking and obsolete paradigms.
Tenacity and persistence are always associated with successful champions. One
champion in our focus groups said it quite well: “You cannot cut out too early; you must follow your instincts. When you get knocked down, you must get back up again. It takes more than ego to get back up – it’s beliefs, knowing you are right, it’s an intuition that what you are doing is worthwhile. Doing this takes an innate ability to deal with uncertainty and risk.”
Champions often see their falterings in life as opportunity. They experience adversity as the door opener for regeneration. They see life as not about perfection but aboutperfecting -- losing your spirit and gaining it back again. The losing of spirit becomes the breakdown that creates the opportunity for a breakthrough, the possibility to regain spirit at a higher level. Living in the status quo is to live too safely, without challenge and opportunity to achieve a dream. Therefore the true champion experiences adversity with a quiet smile, as a hidden treasure from which he or she can source new levels of experience, awareness, and energy. Seasoned champions have failed enough times to know that failure is only temporary; they tend not to let their personal identity be strongly influenced by their experience. One of our focus group champions, when asked to what he attributed his resiliency, stated: “I never take myself too seriously, and find failures are an opportunity to refine my sense of humor.” Adds Brian Ferrar: “I find humor absolutely necessary – both as an ice breaker and bonding agent, but also as a stress reliever.”
My thoughts on the above are as follows.
Does this surprise you? It shouldn't. Great leaders have followers for a reason. And one of those reasons is, inside of the frame of every great leader is a heart that just won't quit. I call it the Rocky heart. You probably call it the person's name you most admire.