Robert Swan was the first man to walk to both the South and North Poles. He gave the keynote speech at last week’s Cisco Live conference in Melbourne, and it was chock-full of pithy observations on how to motivate and inspire yourself.
Swan’s lines are undoubtedly well-rehearsed — making corporate speeches is the way he funds 2041, his ongoing project to ensure that the current ban on mining in Antarctica is extended beyond the current 2041 deadline. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worth hearing. Here’s a completely arbitrary selection of my favourites.
Commitment is key
Don’t forget to show commitment You will not inspire someone by sending them a text. You will inspire someone as a leader by showing commitment, living it, breathing it, being it — not talking about it.
Don’t be bought down by ‘positive bastards’
Before I start any mission, people say “You’re going to fail, you’re going to die”. No-one in this room has ever been inspired by a negative.
Trust leaders and let them lead
Have you ever been able to half-trust somebody? No. You either do or you don’t. If we’d stopped 6000 times for a feedback session, we would have run out of time and run out of food.
Consensus can be deadly
On any team, don’t choose people who say yes. Choose people who say no. Diversity is strength.
Live up to your commitments
Think carefully before you make a commitment. But once you make a commitment, do it, deliver on it, otherwise people will not take you seriously.
The weather could be worse
The coldest day I’ve experienced is minus 65.It is quite chilly at that temperature, sweat turns to ice inside your clothing. To date, I do not enjoy having ice in my underpants.
Disclosure: Angus Kidman visited Melbourne as a guest of Cisco.