This weekend I was in Clevedon in the South West of England to celebrate a quite brilliant achievement – my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary.
Besides having fun and catching up with family, I also felt this was a weekend of reflection. The idea of anyone doing anything for 60 years is mind-blowing and at times I felt in awe of what my grandmother and grandfather have achieved together.
I came away from the celebration thinking about the qualities and values that are needed to make a long-lasting, happy marriage and considered the parallels that exist with something I’m a little more familiar with – business.
Over their six decades of marriage my grandparents have had to develop a clear understanding between them about everything from work, their roles within the household to family-related decisions. I doubt they’ve always agreed on everything but I am sure they’ve made sacrifices and compromises in order to make things work.
Businesses face similar issues regarding both the day-to-day running and strategic direction of a company. Successful companies are often set up in a way that allows different departments and functions to play their role in the running of the business whilst all the while understanding the the overriding objectives and goals that the business must achieve.
A key strength of a good marriage comes with power two people can bring when they work together to achieve a common goal. My grandparents have always supported and relied on one another through thick and thin and they wouldn’t have gotten where they have without each other.
Teamwork is about forming a cohesive bond and a unity in thinking and action. As with marriage, I have rarely seen or heard of a successful business that hasn’t involved good teamwork from the leadership team to the staff on the ground. It’s amazing what a group of individuals can achieve by working together to achieve a clear, common aim.
I’m sure there have bee difficult times throughout my grandparents’ lives but one of the qualities they’ve always had is an unwavering commitment to one another and their marriage. Despite the many ups and downs they must have had, they’ve always stuck at it and it’s this quality that I’ve always greatly admired about them.
When I think of commitment in business I can’t help but think of leaders like Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs (to name but a few!). All these guys were (and some still are) stoically committed to achieving their goals and seeing their visions realised. Giving up is something they have simply never contemplated and it’s this stubborn commitment that has seen them succeed.
I think love is probably the word that best comprises all the qualities I’ve listed above and many more as well. Without a genuine love for one another it’s difficult to stay together and it’s this that has seen them through over all these years.
Love is something that rarely gets credited in business but I’ve always believed that unless you have passion, devotion and an abiding love for the work you do then true success and fulfilment will always be a touching distance away.