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Lessons from the race to the North Pole

June 23 2010 by Peter Czapp

On 16th June, members and guests of the Wow Network met for the annual Wow Summer Celebration. Martin Palethorpe from The Pragma Group delivered a rousing and thought-provoking speech on ‘High Performance Lessons from the Arctic’ and gave motivating insights from his 2007 race to the North Pole. Martin has a deep-rooted passion for challenging and inspiring himself and  others to achieve extraordinary performance, which made him the perfect  speaker.

Martin’s key to delivering high performance can be broken down into the following (PBEARS):

  • Preparation & development  
  • Belief & attitude 
  • End goal  
  • Action
  • Rules
  • S*** happens

Preparation and Development:

Never underestimate the aggregation of marginal gains. Are you making tiny improvements to your business each week…. and ensuring they add up to a big difference?

What is the 20% that will make the biggest difference to you and your business?
Read ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins for further inspiration.

Belief & attitude:
Have a positive mindset & an empowering paradigm. What paradigms do you have about:

  • Yourself
  • Your leadership
  • Your ability
  • Your confidence
  • Your life
  • Your career?

End goal:
It’s important to have your end goal in sight. Here’s a few quick questions to get you thinking:

  • What is my Vision for myself
  • Define my End Goal for 2010
  • What is my version of Winning!
  • Where am I not going direct?
  • Am I on track?

Is your end goal challenging, specific, compelling, shared, time-bound and deep-rooted? How could you make it more so?

Discipline and focus are the bridge between goals and accomplishment. Ask yourself:

  • What is my development plan to achieve my goals?
  • What is the 20% I should focus on?
  • What disciplined action do I need to take more of?

And remember… “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got…”

Establish a set of rules, which everyone works within. Do you have rules for yourself, your company, your team?

S*** happens:
No matter how well you prepare, sometimes s*** happens! All you can do is do your best to overcome it and…. enjoy the journey!

Martin’s talk is summed up nicely with the following quote:
‘The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.’  Benjamin Mays

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