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stephen-sutton

Five lessons Stephen Sutton could teach us in business

Posted by Deborah | May 14th, 2014 | 2 Responses

We were all touched by the incredible spirit and determination which kept Stephen Sutton campaigning in his final months whilst fighting cancer.

It struck me that there’s an awful lot we business owners, team leaders and ambitious career climbers can learn from his behaviour.

1. If you’ve something to say, find a way to say it and there’s an audience ready to listen.

Ok, so I’m in communication so perhaps it’s not so unlikely that I’d mention this – but it’s true.

We all have a message in us, a passionate belief, or something that we really feel we can relay to others.

Whether we’re a boss, an apprentice, or someone not even inside the career which they’re so eager to pursue – there’s something about passion and courage of conviction which makes us want to hear people who have something to offer.

Decide what your message is and if you think it’s worth sharing, gain your voice and find your audience.

2. People like positive people.

One of the things we all admired in Stephen was his positivity.

There are dark days for any of us who head up teams or have to keep the wheels of industry turning – but we don’t need to radiate it in everything we do.

Stay positive and pass that on to your team and your customers and staff will appreciate it – just as Stephen infectiously passed on his positivity to others.

3. Collaboration is key.

What is it about those of us in any industry who think we have to do things privately and steer clear of our competitors and avoid sharing ideas.

Ever thought that actually, we might just benefit from working together on projects, sharing skills, playing to one another’s strengths?

Stephen managed to bring so many people together from all walks of life for a common goal.

The benefits of that kind of collaboration were numerous.

4. Your legacy is in what you do not just what you say.

Stephen might just have given an interview to a newspaper saying he supported the cancer trust and wanted people to give.

Instead, he rallied himself and said he would do more than that. He would act out his passion and carry out practical steps to raise funds – even as he was dying.

We in business can get caught up in ‘saying’ we’re aware of conscientious business, of our CSR, of being good to our customers and our employees. But do we demonstrate it?
It’s high time we all acted out on our intentions. We teach people by example as much as by what we say.

5. Time is limited and no-one thanks the business slave who forgets those they love.

Of course, this one is obvious.

Stephen had such a limited time on this earth but he used it not only to do good to a cause he cared about, but also to be mindful of the people he loved – from his schoolfriends to his family.

The point for all of us, is that there’s time for both.

There’s time to be good at what you do professionally, to support causes, to generate money, to be driven and to achieve a great deal – but there is always ALWAYS space to be spent with the loved ones in our lives. Time is precious. Spend it wisely.

2 Responses to Five lessons Stephen Sutton could teach us in business

  • Couldn’t agree more! Stephen took what life he had remaining and lived it to its fullest whilst managing the day to day stuff that life chucked at him. For me Stephen was inspirational in how he managed to find a balance of ‘work and play’ whilst being pulled from pillar to post. If he could manage this with that was going on around him, why can’t we when we are simply ‘in business’? Surely there is time for some R and R? I think it is time to say move over ‘To Do List’ and get actioning that Bucket List to keep the business of living well and truly in our sights!

  • Mark Davies says:

    Impressive thoughts and reflections and well constructed.
    As a similar, older but now nearly recovered patient, I can only concur with all you have said and hope that it is shouted from the roof tops across the recruitment profession and wider.
    Life is short, work shouldn’t take over and there are many little things that are far more important than selfish ego’s and big jobs!

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