Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Business lessons from marathon champion Wanjiru

I have heard it said that the wise learn from the mistakes of others who have gone before them, the fools by mistakes they make themselves while the insane repeat the same things over and over, hoping for different results. Renowned athlete Samuel Wanjiru’s demise offers valuable lessons to family businesses.

The first lesson regards the place of money in family ventures. Money augments strengths, strategies and ideas. Money builds on what existed before it’s arrival. So possessing cash will not buy you wisdom.

Wanjiru’s story is of great interest because it revolves around a single character who is not just the leader of family business, but who is the family business.

This happens when one has the physical prowess in a particular field e.g. athletics or where an individual possesses intellectual expertise e.g. an expert in computer programmer or a combination of gifts e.g. a great sportsman and marketer such as Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan.