Motivational wisdom for 2017

Jo Francis
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Jo Francis finds inspiration for the year ahead in two amazing women and a pensioner with a feather duster.

As this sparkling, fresh new year stretches ahead, full of possibilities, it’s rather marvellous that the first week back at work has brought with it some suitably positive inspiration from our industry and beyond.

Writing about the New Year Honours awarded to Poonam Gupta and Maureen Duke, I was struck by how admirable both women are.

At Gupta’s PG Paper business the company’s core values are described as being centred on those of their CEO: “Do what you love and love what you do.”

It’s such a simple ethos but it obviously works.

I like the fact that the firm talks about thinking big but staying humble. Its ‘values’ graphic (pictured) has much to commend it.


Maureen Duke, meanwhile, has devoted a lifetime to the craft of bookbinding, and to ensuring that her hard-won skills are passed on to future generations. In a video filmed by the Society of Bookbinders she said: “We owe a debt of gratitude to the people who taught us, just as we have a responsibility to pass it on.”

I think there’s inspiration here for any print boss who employs experienced workers with valuable know-how. It’s imperative to make sure you have the necessary structures to ensure that know-how is shared and passed on.

Elsewhere, over the break I was enduring a fairly ghastly motorway journey when Ken Dodd came on the radio to be interviewed about his knighthood. He’s been waving his tickling sticks for more than 60 years, yet his enthusiasm for his craft is undimmed even though he’s at an age when most people would be happy to just put their feet up.

While you wouldn’t want Doddy to be running your accounts, his ability to see the bright side of life is surely unparalleled. In his 5 Live interview he was asked what message he’d like to give to people, and said: “Believe. Believe in yourself. Believe in the good in people. Keep saying to yourself ‘by jove what a beautiful day’ and it will be a beautiful day. It’s all in the mind, it’s the way you approach it. It’s a beautiful life, make the most of it.”

Motivational wisdom for 2017, sorted. It even made that interminable 50mph section of the M1 bearable. 


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