Walking 1500km with Bill Burr #6 #cong20


 Global Business Traveller who’s plans were badly impacted by Pandemic.
Walked a lot.
Wandered towards purpose.
Remembered a story from Serbia.
Lived happily ever after.

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Key Takeaways:

  1. Purpose is waiting for you to find it.
  2. Community is easy to connect to.
  3. There is always something to do.

About Frank Hannigan

I work with SMEs planning to Scale.
I am a business coach and advisor.
I live in Carrigtwohill, Cork.
Husband and Dad.

Contacting Frank Hannigan:

 You can contact Frank by email 

By Frank Hannigan.

“I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer.”

Brendan Behan

My 2020 was planned a long time ago. I was committed to projects at home and abroad that would keep me flat out for the full year.

The deceleration in March was enough to give you whiplash.

What happened next?

Just before the lock down I had started walking 8kms a day, listening to podcasts, music and Bill Burr.

Bill is incorrigible; a great antidote to the doom and gloom in media.

His philosophy is, “Life sucks, get on with it and stop whining”

Like all of us he finds it hard to keep momentum with the world falling asunder.

I remembered a story about President Zoran Đinđić of Serbia.

He visited a factory shortly after the Yugoslav wars.

The factory CEO told him how everything was screwed – no committed workers; no cash to invest in better machines; no routes to market.

Đinđić said

“I get it, but I noticed the Factory Clock at your entrance is broken, you could fix that. When you fix that, find the next thing you can fix.”

Each day I walked past this magnificent 19th Century stone wall that had been completely hidden by briars and hedge and ivy for at least a generation. It felt like a Đinđić moment.

I talked to neighbours and long story short, we uncovered that wall.

It didn’t make the beer cheaper, but it brought a lot of smiles and joy.

Society has one thing in common with Business – Leadership is a team sport.

Not everyone puts in the effort – but who cares.

The fascinating things is how many will put in the effort if you show example; if you ask them to; if you give them the encouragement to try and the permission to fail.

Every great society came about from small groups of organised, informed and motivated people (Society comes from the Latin word that means friends or allies).

There was a sense of us all being in it together back in March.

By September that sense of solidarity seems to have corroded badly.

30 years ago Balkan society was ripped apart.

Covid-19 is now testing society globally.

The ingredient to survive this punctuation mark is the same as any other disaster.

You need the will to remain.

Society is a man-made construct.

If you imagine a society built on fear and hatred, you will get that.

If you imagine a society that makes each life better you need to:

  • Keep fixing things big and small
  • Keep talking and building consensus
  • Keep dreaming about a better state

You need the will to remain.

Irish society was destroyed by the end of the 1600’s, its leaders were gone, its laws and even its land was ripped away from its people. A real possibility was that the Irish and their society would be extinguished like the Native Americans.

Astonishingly, individuals across Ireland kept fixing things, after Kinsale, after Cromwell, after Perfidious Albion broke promises made in the Treaty of Limerick.

They had the will to remain.

All those fixes; all that consensus building; all those dreams created a continuity of sorts and sublimated into a definite vision of a future society.

Irish society was not invented in 1921.

It builds on a solid foundation of those generations of Irishmen and women.

Let’s keep fixing things.


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