Sam Jardine

Sam Jardine

Partner at Fieldfisher

Discusses how one life changing & tragic event made him rethink what success really means

As a partner in Fieldfisher’s Technology, Outsourcing and Privacy team my work spans several sectors including a wide range of commercial and IT focused agreements, along with a specialism in outsourcings and software-related contracts.

In July 2015 my younger brother was diagnosed with cancer. He passed away in April 2016. His illness has led me to question many things. It’s made me think about what success really means.

Over the past few months I’ve started to focus on the people and relationships in my life. To understand the importance of building genuine and affirming relationships – to be known for honesty, discretion and competence is important. The phrase ‘treat others as you’d like to be treated’ has a lot of meaning for me and it’s something I apply to every aspect of my life.

I’ve also focused on the importance of doing what you love and not settling for second best. I really enjoy getting stuck into a chunky contract or negotiation. Working hard to get the best deal I can for my clients is probably my favourite thing about my job. But if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t do it. Sure, you won’t love every minute of every day, but if you're not engaged and motivated to do well, you may be happier doing something else.

Finally, I genuinely believe that failure helps you grow. No one is perfect. But the key is that we learn from our mistakes. I keep notes of mine, and challenge myself to learn at least one thing I could do better next time.

As a keen cyclist, Sir Dave Brailsford, performance director at British Cycling’s concept of the "aggregation of marginal gains" really strikes a chord with me.

The idea is that small incremental improvements in any process make a significant improvement when they are all added together - I'm totally on board with that. I’ve also recently got into running, and joined a running club last year. It's very welcoming, and caters (thankfully for me) for a wide range of abilities. I feel that the concept of marginal gains definitely applies here!

And if you've never read Portia Nelson's poem "There's a Hole in my Sidewalk", it's totally relevant for personal and business ways of succeeding.

The bottom line is that I passionately believe in our collective and innate ability for self-improvement, for ourselves, as well as for those around us and the next generations.