Posted: 23 Nov, 2020
Last week, we were fortunate to hear the captivating story of Simon Weston CBE. A big thank you to Resolve for hosting and sponsoring this inspiring webinar and affording us the chance to hear Simon’s message of single-minded determination and of triumphing over adversity. Thank you also to Andrew Pepper for moderating this webinar.
While Simon’s story is best heard first-hand, for those who couldn’t join the webinar, here is a brief overview of Simon’s inspirational message.
Simon’s story began in 1978 when he joined the Welsh Guards at the age of 16. After serving in Berlin, Northern Ireland and Kenya he was deployed to the Falkland Islands. On 8 June 1982, when he was boarded with other members of his regiment on RFA Sir Galahad in Port Pleasant, it was bombed and set on fire during the Bluff Cove Air Attacks.
Out of his platoon of 30 men, 22 were killed. Simon was severely injured, sustaining serious burns to 46% of his body.
Barely escaping with his life, Simon then endured years of reconstructive surgery, including over 96 major operations and surgical procedures. Skin from his shoulders was used to make eyelids and his nose was grafted on in a later operation. And in addition to his physical injuries, he suffered severe psychological trauma, drinking heavily and becoming suicidal.
To recover, the physical and mental journey Simon had to go through was enormous. But with the focus on his physical recovery, Simon had to embark on his own journey to recover his mental health. He did so with some help from his mother and old regiment, who helped him to look to the future and not dwell on the past. This was difficult, he said, because he had no idea what the future held for him and in some ways, Simon thinks this mirrors the challenges presented by Covid-19, that there’s no clear path and no clear end.
Speaking of his struggle back to mental health, Simon said he has learnt many valuable lessons, including that one can’t know what other people are dealing with in their world. This, he said, is a lesson he has kept with him and that resonates with people’s experience of Covid-19, each one very different.
Simon also spoke of not dwelling on the past. Learn from it but don’t live in it. Equally, he thinks it’s important not to worry about those things that you can’t change. “Pay attention to the detail in your life that you can affect” was Simon’s advice.
Simon’s experience has also taught him valuable lessons that have helped him in his business life. Simon thinks of his staff as his soldiers, saying that his business can’t survive without them. He therefore makes a point of getting to know his staff and during Covid-19 has thought it important to keep them well informed on the company’s plans. This he says, is the way to engender trust.
Simon’s overall message was a positive one and one of not only accepting what is, but of learning from experiences, turning negatives to positives and succeeding.
Thank you to Simon for sharing your story and to all those who joined to listen.
TMA Upcoming Webinars
26th November – TMA NextGen mentoring session and online networking.
26th November – Stirling Gin Distillery Tour & Tasting.
2nd December – NextGen Bristol – Influence: Your business and market impact in a Covid era.
9th December – Online wine tasting (members and sponsors only event)
To book any of the above events click here
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