Endurance is More Important Than Truth


I saw a great quote at a hotel a few months back – “Endurance is more important than truth”

We were holding a senior leadership offsite meeting and a few of us looked at each other with puzzled looks on our faces. “What does this mean?”, holding the coaster with the quote on it. None of us realised that it was a great quote from the 1987 movie Barfly – “Anybody can be a non-drunk. It takes a special talent to be a drunk. It takes endurance. Endurance is more important than truth.”.

I reasoned at the time that the meaning of the quote was similar to “the winner gets to tell the story” like the truth will be told by those who are the most enduring (usually the winner).
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This is especially so in business where the winner gets to tell the story of how the company was started and the milestones that made it successful. They are the ones who endured all the ups and downs (more downs than ups early on usually); therefore their story will be considered the truth.

It is amazing how many people have laid claimed to have founded carsales.com.au or at the very least, claim they have been instrumental in the formation of the business – “two men said they’re Jesus, one of them must be wrong”. It makes me laugh because those who lay claim to it (apart from the actual founders of course) are always going to be found out because a) none of them were in the business very long and/or b) have not been involved in the business for a very long time (i.e. no endurance) – therefore their story cannot be considered the truth.
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The origins of Facebook have always been in dispute but at the end of the day who gets to write the truth? Mark Zuckerberg of course as he is the one who has endured the life of Facebook and is the winner.

It’s always interesting to hear Steve Wozniaki’s views on what propelled Apple but at the end of the day Steve Jobs endured plenty, along the way making plenty and it was only his story that became the truth behind the Apple story.
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Eddie McGuire talks about things on the radio that are in his lifetime but he couldn’t possibly remember all the facts he claim. This isn’t a criticism, in fact it is the opposite because he does so with absolute conviction and knowledge that you wouldn’t know. Nobody questions what Eddie says because he is the man fronting all before him (the enduring winner) and therefore what he says must be the truth. I get a small kick out of finding things he says that are not quite right but maybe that says more about me than him…….

Endurance is more important than truth – What a great quote and a great life/business lesson.


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