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How resilience and determination can unlock success: James Cracknell speaks to FinTech leaders

25 October 2021 • 2 min read

And digital

2021 has been a busy year for sport. We were treated to the Euros, the Olympics and Paralympics, the Ryder Cup, Wimbledon, and the Lions (the list could go on...). In-keeping with a year of sporting excellence and incredible achievements, we welcomed two-time gold medal Olympian and explorer James Cracknell to deliver the keynote speech at our FinTech leadership session.

Just as the sporting world has been able to relish the return of crowds, we were grateful to be able to hold the event in-person, rather than over Zoom. Fora in Clerkenwell was the perfect space; it underlined just how much we’d missed that sense of community and togetherness that you just can’t recreate remotely.

James' keynote was an open reflection on his personal journey and his many achievements. He talked about his years in rowing and the accolades he won in the sport, plus the incredible feats of endurance since retiring - including the Marathon des Sables, race to the Pole and rowing across the Atlantic with Ben Fogle. James was frank about the challenges he has faced throughout his varied career - achievements all feature moments of doubt and struggle which are rarely visible to the public. 

Ultimately, James explained what matters is a level of determination and mental fortitude to push through challenges. It’s vital to see them not as blockers on the path to success, but a crucial part of the process. “When you are in the thick of a situation,” James said, it is very easy for emotions to cloud your judgement, and so remembering that every challenge is also an opportunity is key.”

While many of James' impressive feats will be hard to relate to, it’s likely that we have all experienced moments when we’ve meticulously planned something, only for something completely unexpected to go wrong and upend your attentiveness and organisation. James mentioned how he had to miss the 1992 Olympics due to a broken shoulder, as well as 1996 Olympic games after contracting tonsillitis. This would have felt huge, 4 years of preparation to be taken away at the last hurdle - but he persisted and pushed on, going on to win gold at both the 2000 and 2004 Olympics.

Complex digital projects require planning and a sense of humility - something will go wrong, however, with an Agile mindset and processes in place, it’s possible to set yourself up to remain resilient and adaptable to deliver success. 

AND Digital can help you do just that. Talk to us about your challenges and let’s work together to achieve something incredible.

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