Tomos James, an Alchemist Growth Executive shares his reflections on the inspirational views of Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and the importance of self-awareness in her interview with 40 Minute Mentor.
“She can say things to me, that no one else can say”
That’s Tanni Grey, talking about her sister – her ‘critical friend’ who gives her valuable feedback that isn’t always comfortable to hear!
I’m sure Kim Scott would agree, her radical candor framework is my go-to guide for how to do this: ‘care deeply and challenge directly.’
It was great listening to Tanni’s interview, what an amazing life and career she’s had, from sport into politics, check out these statistics:
Tanni Grey Thompson won:
🥇 – 11 gold medals
🥈 – 4 silver
🥉 – 1 bronze
💥- broke 30 world records
And she goes on to say
“I lost more races than I won… but people like to look at the medals.”
“The thing that made me good was not winning all the time.”
There are lots of articles about ‘high performers’ and ‘performance culture’ but few mention how many losses and failures will exist alongside that.
Tanni’s take on how she works also stood out to me:
“I like excel spreadsheets and lists.
The grind is boring, lifting weights, but keep the end goal in mind.
Commitment beats talent, wanting to be the best you can be.”
She is focused, she plans, she chips away to make success.
And she doesn’t do it alone, there are many mentions of the great teams that she has around her, fighting with her – from her family, her sports career, and now in the House of Lords. The people we don’t see when it’s her face on our screens.
“Find people that you can talk to.
When you are winning you’ve got loads of friends.
When you’re not winning, you find out who your friends are.”
One of her final thoughts has also stayed with me:
“Be honest with yourself about how hard you are really working.”
Getting feedback from others helps us understand our performance, but ultimately it’s our self assessment, our self awareness, that is the lifelong journey.
If we want to do better, we have to get to know ourselves better.
Self-awareness is key to success in any area of life, but as Tomos writes, It’s only through understanding ourselves that we can hope to improve and reach our full potential. However, self-awareness is not something that comes naturally to most people.This is where feedback from others can be helpful. By taking the time to listen to what others have to say about our performance, we can gain valuable insights into our own behavior. However, it’s important to remember that ultimately it’s our own assessment of ourselves that matters most. Only by being honest with ourselves can we hope to make the changes necessary for lasting improvement.
If you’re looking for some instant inspiration, check out the rest of our 40 Minute Mentor content first.