Finding inspiration in the strangest places!

At 11 pm on a Sunday night, I was hoping that work would be the last thing on my mind, however the magic that is Jennifer Lawrence changed that. She left me up late pondering life & relationships and not for the reasons you would expect!

The film Joy maps J-Law's journey from product concept/ idea through to ultimate success. The mixture of trial and tribulation is something I can fully relate to and whilst clearly embellished by Hollywood, the underlying messages were sound and border-line motivational.

There was one specific piece of dialogue that really got me thinking though. At times you have 'friends in commerce' and at times you have 'adversaries in commerce'. And as we travel through our business life cycles those relationships can change; friends to adversaries and adversaries to friends. But there is no reason why a friendly relationship shouldn't/ can't be maintained whether 'friend' or 'adversary'.

Too often I find myself in business or football on the moral high ground, biting my lip. When we are part of the same team, committee, supply chain, league, whilst we all have our individual aspirations, we share a common goal of success. So being friendly, open, honest and behaving with integrity should be the norm and not a desire. Perhaps my frustration is naivety, perhaps not.

When we are adversaries or competing I still believe those traits of friendliness and integrity should be present. Just because we compete for the same clientele, the same staff, the same audience, why should we lower ourselves to unfriendly behaviours. Every week I see behaviours in business, whether its the actions of a business owner or director or that of a grassroots football coach that make me shake my head and think what message in life are we sending the youth of today. Let us compete, let us enjoy healthy competition and show respect to one another. If you don't know our story, our inspiration, our aims, don't judge and dis-respect us and we will not do that to you.

Following a game of football, win or lose, in moments of elation or misery I ensure all of my players shake hands in a respectful friendly manor with their adversaries and friends. Mainly because it's the right way to be. But also, you never know when those adversaries may become 'friends' and those friends 'adversaries'.

Through mergers, collaborations, expansion and partnerships, the nature of relationships can change and I truly believe friendship, respect and integrity should be maintained through-out.

Live a happy life. Join me on the moral high ground as a friend in commerce whether we compete or not.

Orrin BenfordComment