How Is Every Horse In Your Yard

I’m not a punter. Nor do I have much interest in the rather annoyingly termed “sport of kings”. Possibly because unelected nepotist rule continues as one of humanity’s ugliest pockmarks.

In the run up to today’s Aintree Grand National I was force-fed an interview with a leading trainer.

The questioning journalist – a man of limited ability – asked said stable runner “what are your hopes and aspirations”?

A fairly standard, open query, if a little staid – awkward even – in such phrasing. The answer;

…to maximise the potential of every horse in the yard.

The desire seemed steadfast. Although wrongly influenced by the language of the question, the response made my ears perk up.

In the midst of normal conversational speech, this exchange was a touch incongruous.

It made me think how deep corporate rhubarb had ingrained inside everyday chat.

The clear link promoting process over outcome brought to mind the (wonderful) Dave Brailsford refrain “to be the best that you can be”. Sadly so ubiquitous it’s almost being rendered meaningless. A now unheeded yet essential platitude. I even spoke with someone insisting they cite it on their cv recently.

Yet I couldn’t help think about every horse in my yard.

Every deal, every colleague, every project, every dependant, every opportunity, every idea, every friend.

How am I helping to ‘maximise the potential’? Have I made such explicit? Do I even know where each horizon leads?

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