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Jan's Corner: chasing impressive results or nurturing the love of the game?

Jan Polak - Head of Programmes for Talent Dynamics

Doubled sales, tripled profits, customers raving about our products and admiring our brand – who wouldn’t want to achieve admirable results and massive performance improvements in their business?

The problem is that often we – like the popular Queen song goes – want it all and want it now. Add pressure to deliver from the investors and to outperform the competition and it becomes an insatiable drive to chase results quickly, or else.

Yet the most admirable companies, as the most admirable athletes and performing artists, focus on something quite different. Instead of chasing and driving they express, nurture, and enjoy.

They express their passions – individually and collectively, nurture the contribution they make every day to a particular audience and enjoy every bit of the journey. The funny thing is that the results come as well, and what we see is usually quite remarkable. Just watch for instance companies like Apple, Virgin, 37Signals or Innocent Drinks.

Many years ago, I was as a guest at a nationwide music awards. After performing on stage, the event host asked Michael Stipe from REM what explains their long prolific and successful career in the show business. He simply answered: “We love to do music.” Surely MTV, for instance, might help by providing a great leverage and showing them to the masses across the globe, but it is the passion to play great music for others that keeps them in the game for so long.

Business does not need to be different. It is full of passionate, creative and committed people. It seems that all we need to do is to nurture our and others’ love for the game. That way, the results will be not just remarkable but also sustainable and fun to achieve.

Jan Polak

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