Today I had the most lovely conversation with a friend I haven’t spoken to in over 20 years. In fact, I probably haven’t spoken to her or seen her since my last day of 6th form.
There are people you meet in life who literally are sunshine. She is one of those people; from her golden blond hair to her infectious giggle that radiated down the phone line.
We reminisced about school and how lucky we were to have been born in to that school year and school. Nicknamed by one of the school parents as the ‘iron ring’ as we were unbreakable, not just to separate but also to infiltrate, so strong our bond. Of course, there were little groups of closer friends, but each group seemed to be linked, just like the rings of the Olympics; connected, intertwined. The academics, the sporty ones, the musical maestros, the artists and the social butterflies. And yet regardless of grades or talents, it seems that everyone in our year has excelled; many medics, lawyers, leaders across industry, entrepreneurs to name a few. All still gorgeous. All still the same. All still connected.
What made us such a special group?
As we asked this question of ourselves, the answer came to me.
I had just been listening to Richard Branson’s ‘Like a Virgin’. Just a brilliant read as he shares his wisdom about leadership and entrepreneurship. He reflected on the 4 P’s that they teach (and I was taught) in Business courses: People, Product, Price, Promotion.
All fundamental, but in this day and age, retail is moving so fast that product, price and promotion are almost given, plus so easy to copy or duplicate.
People continue to be one of the most crucial factor in success in business; or to take that further, I consider it to be personality. Strength of character. Integrity. If you have those, then you have connections, loyalties, relationships… and a little ‘black book’. All of that makes the person, priceless.
Add in Richard Branson’s addition to the 4P’s – Customer Service and Fun; Fun with a capital F and to not take everything so seriously and there you have the magical formula for success.
And that is what I believe we all had: Personality and fun. Character and strong connections. Despite our determination, our drive to win and perform our best on the lacrosse pitch, tennis court, rowing boat, on the stage, on paper… my memory is full of moments of laughter, giggling, and hilarity. Who wouldn’t want to be around us, have us in their team or do business with us?!