What should have been one of the best “feel good” weeks of the year with the hottest temperatures of the year so far has not been that at all, due to the horrendous events in Manchester last Monday evening. This has had an effect all over the UK, and I and several others I have spoken to, have shed tears on seeing or hearing the news this week.
As always, when events like this happen, there is a common chorus from politicians about not letting the terrorists win, and that we should be able to carry on with our normal lives as normal. This isn’t always easy, but is probably the right response. I spent the first 18 years of my life in Manchester and often met my friends in Albert Square, and used to use the wasteland around where the MEN arena is now as a playground nearly 40 years ago. Manchester is a different place now to what it was then.
One thing I did love this week was the defiance shown by us Mancunians in the face of adversity. There is a gritty, determined spirit about us, similar, I guess to the Yorkshire “bloody-mindedness” but perhaps with a more forward direction. Whether this comes from Manchester’s roots with starting the industrial revolution I do not know, but there is a northern grit that should be admired and adopted. (One of my ancestors, James Hargreaves, invented the “spinning jenny” which triggered the industrial revolution by automating the weaving process. I have always been slightly ambivalent about this as the industrial revolution, as well as bringing good, also brought oppression and poverty to many!)
What there is no doubt about is that this resilience, northern grit and defiance should be taken into all our businesses. Sometimes events will transpire against us, things will go wrong, sometimes very wrong, but we need to stick at it. We need to dig in during the dark times and often those that do will trumph in the end. There are not many people running successful businesses that haven’t had to go through some dark times. And it is how we react to these that determines our future.