I am not especially in to football, but I am in to the lessons we can all learn from football and I was fascinated by an article in The Guardian that covered the announcement of the retirement of footballer Frank Lampard. Critical to this I noted that the article revealed:
“When Frank was a youngster, I can remember a lot of people saying: ‘What’s all the fuss? He’s a good player but he isn’t that good,” says Tony Carr, the former West Ham academy director, under whom Lampard developed.
Yet now Lampard is considered to be one of the all time greats. So how do you go from good to properly great? The answer seems to be practice.
Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain. This is a popular memory aid for remembering the colours of the rainbow based upon the first letter of each word. Changing it back to colours it becomes: Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet. Such a learning device is called a mnemonic, which is defined as:
a system such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations which assists in remembering something.
So far, so good, but if that seems a little simple, childish even, could such a device, a mnemonic, help me remember the famous never ending number 'pi' to 20 decimal places, that is 3.14159265358979323846?
And could you too remember that... in 3 minutes?
Toto Wolff is the team principal and 30% owner of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. Having in the period 2014-16 won triple world championships in both the driver and constructor category, Mercedes under his leadership is without doubt the most successful Formula 1 team of the current generation. Following the retirement of Nico Rosberg at the end of last year, Mercedes have just appointed Valtteri Bottas as Nico's replacement. Toto's statement to the press on this is as ever full of insight into management at the highest level. This is what he said.
Some people just seem lucky, while others seem constantly unlucky. Or are they? In the business world, perhaps the most outrageous 'luck' story is that of Fedex founder Frederick W Smith. In 1974, three years after founding Fedex, it was on the verge of failing with just $5,000 to its name, meaning they would be unable to fuel their planes the following week. After a last ditch attempt to acquire funding failed, Smith went to Las Vegas and used the $5,000 to play blackjack, turning in to $32,000 keeping Fedex flying for three more days, buying enough time to find another investor. The market worth of Fedex is now $49 billion. When asked if his behaviour in using the last of Fedex's money to gamble in Las Vegas Smith said:
What difference does it make? Without the funds for the fuel companies, we couldn’t have flown anyway.
So was he just lucky?
Something like one third of all people make a new year resolution. Losing weight, getting fitter and eating more healthily are the most popular. Alas, 66% of people are reported to broken it within a month. But in an interview in Forbes with behaviour change psychologist Paul Marciano, he claims "achieving your goals isn’t about willpower. It’s about developing the right skills, executing strategies, and having the patience that inevitably lead to success."
"We are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence."
Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers
I get it, if you run a restaurant you might think that a mission statement is unnecessary because you know what you do already, you serve food right? Having previously published on Mission Statements and also on Values I've been discussing the topic with leading chefs recently and I am more convinced than ever that they are an invaluable business tool for chefs who want to show real leadership. Against that backdrop, I was interested to find that Thomas Keller has published a mission statement accompanied by core values. Let's take a look.
Do mission statements want to make you puke? In part, this is because it has become established doctrine that every company should have one but many are simply platitudes about being the best blah blah blah. But a proper mission statement signals exactly what a company wants to achieve, and in that sense should define the purpose for every employee to turn up to work every day. Jack Welch, legendary business leader even suggests:
a mission is the defining moment for a company's leadership
While day to day costs are charged to the profit and loss account as expenses, purchases of equipment which will be used over many years are not. Even after purchase, something like a new kitchen has value and remains an asset for the business. Accordingly, it sits on the balance sheet as a fixed asset. However, over time it will lose value and over enough years will lose all value and itself need to be replaced. To recognise this, each year a proportion of the cost of the asset is charged to the profit and loss (P&L) account, this is called depreciation.