This is the third instalment of our new Gradwell Business Leader Inspirational Series.

The series aims to take a slightly philosophical, yet comical and logical approach to basic business topics.


I am part of an online service called Quora, where people ask questions and so-called experts answer them and your expertise grows by the number of up votes you receive.

I answer questions on Football, The Bible & Business, well someone has to.

During the Womens’ World Cup and U21’s Championship I was fielding a lot of questions as to who is the best player, etc.

At the time, this led me to reflect that we spend way too much time teaching people technique, whether that be football, playing the piano, writing code, you name it.

Why do I say we spend way too much time?

Because a lot of it is a waste.  You see, the fact is that if they want to, really want to, virtually anyone can learn to be good at something.  All they have to do is choose to make the leap, put in the effort and be ready to deal with any challenges.

The world we live in is very easy, so easy that most people will not commit until they have discovered they can be good at something.

Their approach is ‘teach me while I stand here on one foot, text, gossip with my friends or wander off to something else.  If that teaching sticks I will commit.

My eureka moment was at a recent CBI meeting where a gentleman explained that he had increased the headcount at his Ethiopian factory from 600 to 1500.

Another delegate asked if he had any challenges training new staff?

His answer?

No, they need to work so they come in on their own time to learn the skills and make sure they “get it” before they start work.  In other words, they are committed.

I am thinking that in the business workplace, maybe we all need to place far greater emphasis on actual commitment than on ability.

I am also thinking that great teachers teach….. Commitment.


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