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Winners: and how they succeed
« on: March 25, 2015, 20:20 »
I'm reading this book at the moment.

Campbell was Director of Communications for Tony Blair during his time as Labour leader and Prime Minister. The British among you will know him by reputation, I'm sure. He was the man for whom the term "spin doctor" was coined, and the inspiration (allegedly) behind the Thick of It character Malcolm Tucker[1]. Since leaving office, he has pursued his real interests... mental health campaigning and Burnley Football Club. He also works as a strategy consultant. Combining his extensive political nous, his recent connections with big business, and his life-long passion for sport, Campbell has looked in this book at the attributes and mindset needed to be a "winner".

This, in and of itself, is very interesting, and his writing style is so engaging that you forget you are reading what at times amounts to a psychological treatise scattered with anecdotes from several leaders in their respective fields. Among the sporting luminaries mentioned are Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, from the world of football, England World Cup winning rugby coach, Sir Clive Woodward, and... Sir Dave Brailsford[2].

For all that we might say about Sir Dave, there is no getting away from the fact that he led a team that transformed British Cycling over the course of a relatively short time period. Reading about Brailsford's inspirations - from the world of business and technology, plus the well-known recruitment of Steve Peters - is a particularly enlightening way of re-reading a story that we all know well.

None of the above, while I might have mentioned the book in passing, would have prompted me to write this particular post. However, I have just read a particularly interesting portion which - in flagrant breach of copyright - I would like to share. It is in the context of "obsession", which when considered through the personalities of Sir Clive Woodward, Tiger Woods, or Michael Phelps, are a key part of what drove them to become so successful. But when it goes too far...

"Dying and losing - they're the same thing".
 1. A search for Malcolm Tucker on, for example, YouTube will often be accompanied by "best swearing". How much of this was directly inspired by Campbell is not clear
 2. The keen eyed might have spotted his name on the cover art
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  • He shook his head sadly and told me that endemic drug use had compelled him to give up a promising career. "Even one small local race, prize was a salami, and I see doping!" - Tim Moore: Gironimo (Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy)


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    Re: Winners: and how they succeed
    « Reply #1 on: March 27, 2015, 09:43 »
    Love you, CJ, but I would never read anything by that sh*theel, even if it is mostly about other people. :lol
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    Re: Winners: and how they succeed
    « Reply #2 on: March 27, 2015, 09:53 »
    Interesting stuff, CJ. I don't suppose mad Al had a moment of introspection on the next page. From the outside looking in, I'd say the two personalities, Campbell & Armstrong were almost identical.
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