I’ve always thought that self-help books are redundant; trying to teach those who can’t change strategies to be better at something, while for most of us, the advice might seem obvious or patronising. I’m sure you can pick up tips from others in your journey towards business, personal or social satisfaction. But you can’t teach ambition, although you can encourage it I suppose.
I’m not sure if others feel the same way, but I’ve also read adverts for seminars that teach you how to make money surreptitiously and wonder: how many millionaires really started out by attending a seminar on what to do to be successful?
Perhaps I should have asked some of the “major players” in our Special Report this month. I was very interested to research the origins and evolution of some of the best known educators in the industry and chart large-scale corporate direction (pages 42-48). The founders or leaders of many of the industry giants are still involved in the business, and the evolution of their companies came about because of vision, unfettered ambition, possibly a timely acquisition and, indeed, the support of peers, their team and contemporaries.
Passion is a word that is often used. EF’s milestone 40th birthday brochure recounts that Bertil Hult, Founder of EF, and his first partner, Kaj Gahnström, shared similar outlooks on enterprise: “You had to dream big to become big” and it relates that camaraderie and a work-hard-play-hard ethos was essential to the “EF spirit”. (Interestingly, it also relates that in the 70s, all EF staff were given a company tracksuit and had to attend compulsory morning exercises once or twice a week because of Hult’s belief that physical activity helps mental focus).
Antonio Anadon, owner of Spain’s largest language corporation, credits the support of agencies as integral to his successful empire in the Spanish speaking market, and newcomer to the head table, EC, also asserts that its growth is thanks to agencies who believe in the brand.
Drive, passion and amiability are all ingredients in a success story as well as foresight and nerve. Those first three qualities are certainly in abundance at industry workshops, many of which are taking place this month. Helping fuel cross-cultural exchange is a great way to make money and this spirit is captured at such events. We report on the progress of workshops and bring you top tips for survival at the upcoming autumn events (pages 52-58).