Sir Robert Swan, The Survivor at WeSchool

May 03, 2012 | Posted by admin in Events & Happenings   No Comments »

The only man to have walked the North and the South Pole and still have a world of humility about him, that’s Robert Swan. And students at WeSchool had the honour to listen and interact with him on 5th April, 2012. The most striking part of his talk was, when he mentioned as to how the world laughed at his accomplishment asking him what was the point in accomplishing this feat. To which he replied, “What’s the point in anything that we do? If you are damn proud of what you have achieved, remember it’s a thing worth remembering

Not an explorer, not an environmentalist, Robert Swan is a Survivor. A survivor who has found a mission for life due to his expedition to Antarctica. He walked to the South Pole, unassisted in the same year that the Ozone Hole was discovered.

But, is he a pessimist? The answer is No. His message is that of Hope. He believes that negativity does not inspire anyone. It is positivity in one’s life that is essential to reach the pinnacle of success. Sustainable Inspiration is the task he looks for.

Being a motivational Speaker who has inspired business leaders all over the world, he spoke about how businesses need to incorporate sustainability in their business models / strategies itself. With examples of Chinese billionaires who have converted their operations to green operations, Wal-Mart who is now telling its suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint and has given three years for them to get their act together, he reiterated the fact that sustainability is the way for future.

Robert urged the WeSchool students who listened in rapt attention to “remember your Dream time and again ”. He also told the students to choose people in their teams who can challenge them and push them rather than choosing people who they like and agree with.

Some of the Gems of Wisdom he shared with us were,

  • Tell the truth always
  • Listen to the truth about yourself(Listen to what they are actually saying)
  • Inspire people to trust each other because half our time is spent in meaningless activities which can be saved if you have complete trust on the people you work with and in your personal life
  • Don’t rush thru life; take a moment and enjoy the moment
  • Think very carefully before committing; because when you commit something you need to “DO IT” no matter what
  • In order to succeed one must have discipline, leadership and execution
  • More importantly, ‘HAVE A LAUGH !’

“ ‘We’ is the new I ! ” , he emphasized on the  credo that WeSchool believes in so strongly. Team work is of paramount importance and that you need to build strong teams which challenge you is very essential. When everyone is agreeing over something then that actually means that no one is really thinking. And hence though working with opposable minds is difficult; it may bring more clarity in discussions because different points of view come to the fore. He strongly believes in being local in the global context.  Hence put forth the concept of ‘Glocalization’ in a very different way in front of us.  His initiative with an organization named LoveLife in South Africa which concerns the biggest problem there- AIDS and in India about the conservation of Tigers which is currently the topic that concerns us were truly inspiring.

He also urged students to become billionaires by being entrepreneurs in the field of sustainable energy. He also urged us to check for relevance time and again in the business scenario to be in the race. He not only filled us with awe but also inspiration, ending his speech with how efficiency, execution and innovation are the key in today’s dynamic business scenario.

In the end, he left us with a challenge. A challenge to find a new word for the word which he believes is overused and hence in the process has lost its importance – Sustainable.

Contributed by Chandana Pai ,GM Strategic Alliance & Business Development, WeSchool


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