“"How many leaders actively seek out and encourage views alien and at odds with their own? All too few...Who in your organization serves as your Challenger In Chief? Interrogating the choices you are considering making? Making you consider the uncontemplated, the unimaginable and that which contradicts or refutes your position? And also challenging you?"”
Up Front: August 2012
I recently interviewed Kenn Ricci, the principal of Directional Aviation Capital, which owns Flight Options, Nextant Aerospace and Constant Aviation. When I asked him about his state of mind, he immediately replied, “I made a pact with myself in 2007 to never complain about anything ever again.”
It was a simple yet profound statement that I find myself thinking about repeatedly.
Perhaps it resonates with me because Novak Djokovic, our cover subject this month, has been top of mind lately as well. As Matt Thurber reports in the article that begins on page 16, Djokovic’s story is one of incredible triumph over very difficult conditions in war-torn Serbia. He first played tennis court at age 4 and proceeded to dedicate his life to becoming a champion of the game–even while his country was enduring relentless bomb strikes and he was forced to take shelter with his family in his grandfather’s basement in Belgrade. Last year he inspired the world with his tennis prowess, winning 43 matches in a row, culminating with a Wimbledon victory, a moment he had already relentlessly visualized since childhood.
If you haven’t already seen it, I encourage you to watch the extraordinary March 25, 2012 60 Minutes interview where Djokovic goes into detail about his childhood and what he overcame to get where he is today. (It’s at www.cbsnews.com/video). The story certainly put my everyday complaints in perspective.
Even those of us on the BJT staff who are not tennis fans have been rooting for Djokovic ever since we read Matt’s story, and though we were sorry to learn that he fell short at Wimbledon this year, I know we are going to see great things from him for many years to come.