"The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The leader adjusts the sails."
My first-born finished school this year and is heading to university in 2020. Thirty-three years ago, I was in the same boat. I will never forget my first Statistics class, when the professor told the story of two mice who arrived at the campus. Shortly after their arrival, both fell into a bucket of milk. The one mouse gave up and drowned. The other one decided to keep on kicking and after “three years” the milk turned into butter and he climbed out.
The mice fable is a story of hope, resilience and courage and it helped me to be steadfast in my true north and what I wanted to achieve in life. I am sure all of you have similar stories of inspiration that have shaped your lives.
South Africa has so many “wicked” problems, and the mice fable is so relevant to our context. The depth and width of state capture have stunned every South African and we all feel the impact physically, emotionally and financially. However big our problems, I am still inspired by the courage, ingenuity and kindness of so many of my fellow countrymen and -women who continue to make a positive difference to our rainbow nation.
The South African Rugby World Cup campaign was a momentous feel-good moment and many leadership teachings were on display, i.e. clever strategy, clear goals, candour in communication with stakeholders, disciplined execution, humble leadership and a deep sense of purpose to bring hope to a nation that is in dire need of unity and pride. Although winning the Rugby World Cup was a tremendous achievement, what was even more inspiring is how our team’s diversity became a symbol of national strength and pride.
Over the past year I heard this powerful quote that is so relevant to our nation’s context:
"Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being invited to dance."
Why did our World Cup campaign connect with so many hearts? The culture of the team embraced diversity, everyone on and off the field felt included and for a few weeks we could dance together in true Lion King spirit – Hakuna Matata – no worries! Let’s think further together and keep on building a South Africa where everyone feels respected, valued and included. Our diversity is our strength and should not divide us; it is something special that many nations can only dream of. We are stronger together and in unity is power!
To our loyal clients and friends
To each and every loyal client and friend, thank you for supporting our business over the past year. You are the sole reason for our existence and without you, we wouldn’t have a business. Thank you for allowing us to live our grander vision of making a meaningful difference to life, business and society.
Steady progress at Marathon
2019 has been a year of steady progress at Marathon and our team has achieved a few milestones that we are proud of:
- We have refreshed our logo and brand message. Marathon is a consulting and financial services group and our mission is to help our clients achieve their “Mount Everest” business and financial objectives. We have a team of skilled advisors that specialise in the following services:
- business consulting (Marathon Consulting)
- investment in private companies (Marathon Capital)
- wealth management (Marathon Wealth)
- short-term insurance (Marathon Insure)
- strategic financial management (Marathon Finance).
- Marathon Capital acquired a 10% stake in LDP, a professional services firm that specialises in audit, tax and advisory services. LDP is a dynamic, solution-driven firm and has a passion to unlock the potential of their clients. The firm is 29 years old and its head office is in Stellenbosch – it has 118 staff members and 1 460 clients. The values and culture of Marathon and LDP are closely aligned and we are excited to offer our clients a broader range of services in future.
- Marathon Consulting’s Organisational Health practice delivered a number of projects over the past year where we moved the needle in helping clients building a winning culture.
- Both Marathon Wealth and Marathon Insure have strengthened their advisory capacity. Marathon Wealth now has four financial advisors and Marathon Insure has five insurance advisors.
- The five investment funds that Marathon Wealth launched over a year ago now have a 12-month track record and are open for business.
- And finally, after many construction delays, we moved into our new offices during the year. We are very excited about our new home and the facilities we have to serve our clients better.
When you are ready to Think Further
When you need a trusted advisor to help you to think further about your business and financial goals in the new year, the Marathon team would love to help you where we can. Please call us for a coffee, visit our offices or go to our website (www.marathongroup.co.za).
We wish you a memorable, happy and restful festive season with family and friends.
About the author(s)
Alwyn Rossouw, Marathon directors and team.