Thirty-fourth time lucky

 Robert the Bruce and the Olympic bid

When I was at Primary School my teacher would often recount the tale of Robert the Bruce and his famous spider. Routed in battle, Bruce was on the run and hiding in a cave. As he sat there, he watched a spider trying again and again to span a gab with her web. Each time she fell short, and each time she trued again…until at last the web was complete. Inspired, Robert the Bruce returned to the fight, and the phrase was born: ‘if at first you don’t succeed ten try, try, try again.’

So far as I am aware, David Magliano, former Director of Marketing for London 2012, was not at my school. He might as well have been, though. Earlier this week I read the account of how the final presentation for the London Olympic bid was revised not one or two…but 34 times! The end result, with its focus on inspiring the young rather than just showcasing the city, won the day.


  Later this month I shall return after a year’s absence to one of my great loves – training people to preach. I have bookings in the diary for the London Baptist Association and the Salvation Army as well as a conversation with an independent trainer. As ever, the training is not just about skills but about confidence. Not only that, but the path to success must be littered with some failures. I have a feeling that Mr Magliano and the Scottish spider may well find their way into my presentations


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