Tall poppy syndrome hits risk takers

Ministry of Foreign Affairs chief executive John Allen says  New Zealanders have a dismal view of risk takers.

. . . Allen . . . said New Zealand needed more people who took risks.

“When they fail we will just stand them up and point them in the right direction.”

Until New Zealanders changed their attitude to wealth and until New Zealand companies had stronger balance sheets and the capacity to invest in markets like Asia and the US, this country would not deliver its potential for success.

“We have to change our attitudes to business itself. We have to ensure we are sticking up for people … far too often we see people taken down and taken down in a very overt and difficult way,” Allen said.

“Too often we are timid and stand on the sidelines. The reality is it’s up to us to stand up and talk about this. I believe absolutely that exporters have the drive to deliver that success.” . . .

This is the tall poppy syndrome at work.

The best way to deal with it is to ignore it and let results prove the naysayers wrong.

I don’t know any successful business person who hasn’t had some learning experiences – at least some of which have been very expensive.

If they’d listened to the gloom merchants and others who delight in others’ failures they might have given up. But the good ones picked themselves and their businesses up and  both are stronger for it.

You should only listen to other people when they’re right and the ones Allen refers to aren’t.

They’re people without the courage and/or ability to try themselves.

It’s best to leave them to their own misery and surround yourself with positive people who understand not everything goes right but that doesn’t have to be permanent.

New Zealand is a wealthy country in many ways but not in financial terms and we won’t improve that by revelling in other people’s failures.


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