This time last week, Alan and I had the pleasure of being invited by Flavours Holidays to the ‘Business Beats Cancer’ event in aid of Cancer Research UK, at the George Hotel in Edinburgh. It was a brilliant evening, with hilarious and often thought-provoking entertainment, resulting in a slightly slower than normal Friday afternoon!

As we near the end of Quarter 1, there is a lot to think about. A lot of opportunities and of course some challenges ahead to overcome. Listening, however, to how Cancer Research UK has developed its scientific and clinical research over the years, any concerns I have day to day were put firmly into perspective.

But the concept of research got me thinking, specifically about how leaders, at any level in a business, deal with their challenges. No doubt some better than others. There are times when you wonder if you can do it. Sometimes everything feels finite – either you can or you can’t. Either you are built for it or you are not. Either you have the skills or you don’t, and every day this is questioned with the on-going assumption that you can.

But scientific research is not absolute. It is a case for test and learn. Test first, see if it works and if it does, refine and continue and if it doesn’t think of something else. Recently I have also been lucky enough to access some amazing minds to help me on my own leadership journey and on the growth path of Genoa Black. Sometimes the access to so many good ideas and suggestions from others can feel overwhelming. But if we can treat leadership as a journey itself, not an absolute, and give ourselves the space and opportunity to learn ourselves then maybe we will accelerate our skills faster.

I have no idea how many tests medical scientists have to complete to get to the winning result in beating cancer, but I suspect business and team leaders have a lot to learn when it comes to patience, perseverance and pragmatism from the experts at Cancer Research UK.


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