Who would win a race between Nijinsky and Black Beauty? Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Nijinsky would, hands down. Why? Consistency of effort over a prolonged period. Nijinsky trained every day under the tutelage of Vincent O’Brien. Black Beauty was rolled out now and again for a film clip and made to look good galloping over a stretch of moorland in slow motion.

Turning from horses to humans, we’ve all seen people in the gym who look the part, running ‘fast’ on the treadmill for 10 minutes, repeating the week after and thinking that they have put in a good shift. That doesn’t work; their legs are moving fast, but there is no consistency, no longevity and ultimately their efforts are shallow. Get on the treadmill and when it automatically cuts off after 60 minutes, get off, walk to the next treadmill and start running again. When you are done, rest, recover and come back tomorrow – that’s what will get you results.

Eddie Hall, the World’s Strongest Man (2017) and currently the only man to deadlift 500kg under strongman rules, did not pop into the gym one day, sporadically lift some weights and end up breaking the world record for the deadlift. He spent 15 years lifting progressively heavier weights day in day out in a Stoke on Trent gym and eating 12,500 calories a day; that is why he can deadlift half a metric tonne.

As an Accountant you probably aspire to be a Chief Financial Officer, but becoming the CFO doesn’t happen just by going to the right university, qualifying at the right firm and going through the (slow) motions waiting for a promotion. You need to apply the same approach as you would to the treadmill in the gym, the same approach Eddie Hall has, to achieve success. Take a look under the skin of your CFO and really understand all the challenges they have faced to become the CFO – period after period spent poring over rock solid financials to comprehensively understand the heartbeat of the business, balance its risks and recognise its opportunities. You need to appreciate the long hours spent honing their leadership skills through endless people management and boardroom battles. All of this while shouldering the responsibility of ensuring financial success.

Put in the effort to understand how you can ‘win’; hone your skills day after day, acknowledge your weaknesses and work on eradicating them while simultaneously improving your strengths.

Be Nijinsky not Black Beauty; of course, having a Vincent O’Brien helps….