September 20, 2019

Lighting The Glorious Flame of Your Business

I know I keep harking back to that Summer.

The Summer of 2012.
The London Olympics.

But those emotional days had such an impact on our family.

Our youngest daughter, Briony, dancing in the Opening Ceremony.
Our eldest daugther, Lauren, working in the Athletes Village.
My wife, Wendy, exuberant, even though her weakened heart forced her into a wheelchair from time to time.

Today, I think back to the spectacle of the Olympic flame…
Carried by a local(ish) sportsman within 100 yards (metres?) of our home.

the whole town stopped its routine – its daily doings – to line the streets.
And we didn’t mind how long we waited.
Nor how quickly the anticipated moment passed.
As long as we saw it.

The Runner and The Flame.

It was then that it struck me what I was really witnessing.
We were cheering The Runner.
But, the truth was, we were rejoicing over the spectacle of The Eternal Flame.

The Flame that would burn gloriously throughout the Games… watched by the whole world.

And I realised then the connection between The Flame… and what I had been teaching in our MasterClasses.

I had been showing our clients the journey they needed to take, to move from:

  • An Apprentice, to…

  • A Craftsman, to…

  • A Master at their craft

The concepts were developed in Medieval Europe by the trade guilds:

  • Obviously the Apprentice was the boy who was learning his craft.

  • The Craftsman (known by the french term ‘Journeyman’ or ‘Journeeman’) was capable of earning his daily (journee) bread.

  • But the Master had the most demanding weight on their shoulders:

Yes, they owned the business, and were The Man

Yes, they had to prove to the Guild that they could create work which was Masterful (‘masterpeice’)

But they also had to prove that they could develop the next generation of Craftsmen and Masters
A generation capable of taking the Craft and the Guild into the future.

In other words… they were judged on their ability to pass the Flame of their Craft on.
They had to show that they could teach brilliantly.

That was the price of Guild membership.

And what my experience of watching the Olympic Flame had taught me, yet again, was this…

It’s The Flame – not The Runner – that truly matters.

And so it is in our business.

  • We might think that we’re ‘The Man’ (or ‘Woman’)

  • We might point to our accolades, our awards, our revenue successes… our possessions

  • But we’re only Masterful, when we are so superb at our Craft that… we can pass it on.
    Teach it to the next generation.

We never become Masters in our profession – in anything…
Until we stop making it… all about US.

Because it’s The Flame – not The Runner – that truly matters in the long run.