Wednesday 30 January 2013

Lucky leadership

Leading people is most often not a popularity contest. It sounds exciting and fun, but it really is hard work. It can be very rewarding and it certainly can be fulfilling, but it is often filled with disappointments and struggle.

Building a business and nurturing and growing people is like raising kids. You get out what you put in. Well, that is the theory anyways. But, there are risks with both of these.

Most businesses don't go on to make magic in the world and most start-ups fail. You go about building your business, putting in so much, to try and find some joy in the world but so often you land up with stress, disappointment and pain. It is the same with raising kids. Sure, you hope that your kids will bring you joy later in life, but often, kids can also bring you anxiety, hardship and pain.

If you look at the problem children out there, you never really have to look further than the source. The same with a failing business. When no one really cares, this is what happens. In short, there is a risk in trying to build a company and in raising kids - you want to find magic but you often find only struggle.

On the other hand, you can give it all you got, and work hard, and still, there is no guarantee that your kids will turn out good, like there is no guarantee a business will work, even if you do everything right. Luck always plays a role. You could raise your kids great, and they could still turn out to be lemons. And you could lead people in a business, with an inspired soul, and work harder than anyone, and set an example, and still go nowhere.

Leadership requires an element of luck. I am more and more convinced of this.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Click, Inhale, Click, Exhale, Click

This blew me away ... take a few minutes and watch this ... brilliant !

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Thursday 17 January 2013

The balance

This year has started off with so much energy, so much excitement, so much buzz. And also, so much stress, so much pressure, so much intensity. Finding the balance is not easy. It should be simple, I know, but I can’t figure it out. Well, not yet at least.

In the year gone by I started learning magic. As in abracadabra. Sim Sala Bim. Hocus pocus. I am loving the magic, and the man who is teaching and guiding me is an inspiration. But, I am like a kid in a toy store. Wanting to learn more, do more, amaze more. It creates a strange kind of pressure all this excitement. My magician mentor then says to me "Ah, the balance between excitement and patience ... practice, practice, practice."

We all want to reach the summit, for every mountain we climb. One of the thrills of going on a new journey is to reach the pyramids, but the journey itself is where the real rewards are, and sometimes we need a reminder of this. Winning the race is cool, sure, but the race itself is where the real magic takes place.

Balance and practice. These words are closely linked, but it is often something we don’t consider.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Friday 11 January 2013

Viva Yogi !

The first week back in the office and it has been hectic. It is a sign of things to come ... 2013 is gonna be intense. But today is Friday ... TGIF! And we will always have icons like Lawrence Peter Berra to keep us guessing.

We all know him as Yogi, a nickname given to him by a friend who likened his cross-legged sitting to a yogi. Yogi is famous for his fractured English, malapropisms and sometimes nonsensical quotes.

He's closing in on 86, and there seems to be no end to his fan's love for him. Here are 25 Yogi Berra quotes that will make you shake your head and smile.

1. "It's like deja vu all over again."
2. "We made too many wrong mistakes."
3. "You can observe a lot just by watching."
4. "A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."
5. "He hits from both sides of the plate. He's amphibious."
6. "If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be."
7. "If you don't know where you're going, you might end up some place else."
8. Responding to a question about remarks attributed to him that he did not think were his:
"I really didn't say everything I said."
9. "The future ain't what it used to be."
10. "I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house."
11. On why he no longer went to Ruggeri's, a St. Louis restaurant: "Nobody goes there anymore because it's too crowded."
12. "I always thought that record would stand until it was broken."
13. "We have deep depth."
14. "All pitchers are liars or crybabies."
15. When giving directions to Joe Garagiola to his New Jersey home, which is accessible by two routes: "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."
16. "Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours."
17. "Never answer anonymous letters."
18. On being the guest of honor at an awards banquet: "Thank you for making this day necessary."
19. "The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase."
20. "Half the lies they tell about me aren't true."
21. As a general comment on baseball: "90% of the game is half mental."
22. When two streakers ran across the field during a Yankee game "I don't know if they were men or women running naked across the field. They had bags over their heads."
23. "It gets late early out there."
24. Carmen Berra, Yogi's wife asked: "Yogi, you are from St. Louis , we live in New Jersey , and you played ball in New York . If you go before I do, where would you like me to have you buried?" Yogi's answer: "Surprise me."
25. "It ain't over till it's over."

Yogi is a true American icon!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Friday 4 January 2013


I wish I was a better sleeper. After a good night's sleep everything is more peaceful. Last night I slept like never before, and today I am excited about the year ahead. The night before I was tossing and turning and slept so badly. And then, that next day things did not look so good. It is amazing what a difference a good night's sleep makes. Never make decisions when you are tired - when we sleep badly the next day we really battle with perspective.

Sleep is not just about resting the body, but also, the mind. When we can switch off for a night then the next day we have amazing clarity. That is my experience. Yes, today I am very clear on the year ahead, and I will take the challenges that are coming in their stride.

Sleep is also something we can use to express our view on a venture, and many other things. This holiday I have been thinking and struggling about another film project we have been driving. It is our next big venture after Material. I think we are going to put it to sleep for 6 months. Sometimes putting things on ice for a while gives you a very valuable perspective. Material took 7 years to write, and there were many long pauses throughout this time. Yes, I think our big East/West script is going to take a breather, and I am very comfortable about it after that good night's sleep. When we return to that journey later in the year things will fall into place. I am pretty sure of it.

May this new year ahead be filled with many good night's sleeps - for all of us. Then we can all make better decisions. As the old saying goes "Let's sleep on it".

Posted by Ronnie Apteker