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Imagine how different our performance (as individuals, teams, and organisations) would look if we were encouraged to take risks, practice with no consequences, go the extra mile, grind daily, discipline ourselves, and dare to unleash our inner champions.

When my father and I weren’t watching, discussing, or strategising over the next big fight, we would be at the 4am red-eye work sessions at the racing track. My father’s sister owned a horse racing stable, which employed the simplest yet most profound strategy for producing champions.

They would look for a particular kind of baby that could be taught to be a champion. It’s important to note the absence of the prevailing born-a-champion belief system with which the world is caught up. The approach employed an unorthodox strategy: socialise the baby to win from day one. To realise this, our babies were raced against older horses who would be held back in the race to allow the babies to win every race from day one.

Our babies never saw another horse in front of them and were never allowed to consider being second; it was never presented as an option. Winning is a belief system, and when you are able to engineer proof points, the story becomes indisputably real. This omnipresent engineering of a context of winning in our stable stands in stark contrast to what is typically done in business today. Leaders aren’t obsessing about shaping and moulding success – they aren’t socialising their followers into a winning mindset. They aren’t building victory as the status quo. What would happen if we engineered our business environment or context to reflect both the boxing gym and the racetrack? What if – as leaders – we create the intrinsic belief in our followers that we succeed all the time, every time? That there is only winning?

That our formidable core ideals and beliefs – when based on the premise of limitless – will deliver us to the holy grail of great performance? What if we allowed ourselves, our followers, and clients to stretch the boundaries and trust enough to actively drive risk-taking and dreaming bigger and better? Wouldn’t the exponential value of like-minded partnerships reinvent performance, culture, and human lives across organisations across South Africa? … Across Africa and beyond it? Wouldn’t we change the world one heart at a time? It sounds impossible!

Impossible is what we call something when it’s too big, too scary, too much work. It’s justification; a way of excusing ourselves from the responsibilities and accountabilities of reaching for greatness and glory. But – like Ali – we have the power to control who and what we become. Like Ali, we get to decide what possible and impossible mean. And every choice moves us closer to or further away from impossible … from potential … from #better. We are the engineers of the future. Impossible is a dare. Do you accept?

If you dare we are waiting for your call!


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