It’s not getting there, it’s staying there. Why sustainability is more important
By: Dr. Constantine “Dino” Kiritsis, Founder, StudySmart, ICDE, PwC
Athens, 11 June 2019
I am a big fan of Novak Djokovic. For some reason, when he plays, I play as well. It may be because I have a great connection with Serbia and a bunch a great friends from there. After Novak won the Australian Open in 2019, I watched him during his press conference. He said that he always ‘visions’ himself winning. He also said that he is always “hungry” to win. Being at the top, the number 1 tennis player in the world for so long is something truly unique, extremely difficult and only players with amazing mental and physical ability have achieved something this amazing. It is worth watching a video on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_g66pGnbdp4) when Novak was 7 years old stating that he plans to be number 1(!) in the near future. Speaking about vision…(!). As stated earlier, it is not getting there, but actually staying there (Number 1) for close to 300 weeks (and counting)…
To be fair and respectful to the other greats, Federer, Nadal, Borg, Lendl, McEnroe, Sampras, Agassi and Connors in the modern game had amazing consistency in their playing that is truly unique. If you count the players that stand out at that level, they are not more than 10 in the past 40 years(!). Being at the top of your game for 15 or 20 years takes careful planning, determination, commitment and a solid strategy. It is not something that is easy or by chance.
In a similar fashion, a company that stands out is a company that delivers … always. You cannot make history when you don’t pay your employees consistently on time, or when you do not create products that have value consistently. Doing it once is good, but it is not great. Being a ‘one hit wonder’ can make you some cash, but if you want to stand out you have to deliver always. Being a good parent does not mean playing football with your son once, but setting up a programme to play on a constant basis. Being a good husband does not mean bringing flowers on her birthday but always being able to remember the important dates and birthdays. Companies, people, performance fade out. Our job should be to ensure we do not fade. We should be able to plan ahead, be consistent, make comebacks and stay determined to make a difference and impress always, not once. The Beatles, Elvis, the Rolling Stones, George Michael, Led Zeppelin, Phil Collins, Sting, ACDC, Queen, Chicago, Clapton, Santana, Elton John and other great groups and performers stand out because of being consistent, not because they wrote or sang one or two great songs.
We should be striving for consistent success, not just ‘success’ and this is why the term ‘sustainability’ is important. Ask yourself if you are sustainable. Before making an iphone or writing a book, do you have the second one in your mind or a plan ready? As Novak stated : “in order to stay where I am – and I want to do that - I have to stay dedicated as well as I have been before I became No 1”
Stay hungry like Novak - He knows…