Leaders Never Quit

Nov 21, 2016

 12 281km. 117 days. 10 cities. This is what SAICA sponsored athlete, adventurer, actor and musician, Ivan Zimmerman conquered during his cycle challenge along the old silk route, from Beijing to Istanbul in October this year. A daunting, if not impossible thought for many, Zimmerman tackled this challenge in the same positive manner that he completed 2015’s Cairo to Cape Town cycle challenge; with the unwavering belief that leaders never quit.

Zimmerman’s positive outlook saw him through once again, when on 5 October 2016, he reached Istanbul, the final destination of the challenge, helping SAICA to achieve its goal of raising R1 million for the Thuthuka Bursary Fund by pledging R1.25 for every kilometre he covered.

Zimmerman admits the race was tough – the distance alone was further than what he covered previously during his Cairo to Cape Town ride - and the high altitudes above sea level and extremes of temperature made for extremely difficult cycling conditions that take their toll physically. He admits there were times when he became discouraged and had to fight hard to overcome his mental barriers. “At times like these I would repeat my mantra: leaders never quit. I would say it over and over again, I would shout it, I would sing it,” he recalls, showing that his self- belief and positive self-talk has been a major element in the achievement of his goals.

It’s the same attitude that we have seen reflected in our trainees and future CAs(SA) – the ability to persevere despite the challenges and tough times that will inevitably come our way. Indeed, it is why SAICA has chosen to partner with Ivan Zimmerman, as there is so much synergy between his determination and the determination we see in every one of our members to achieve great things.

Zimmerman is driven by the belief that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things. He is constantly looking for new ways in which he can challenge himself. “Never compare yourself to other people and their achievements,” he advises, adding that we are all on our own journeys and that great leaders never look at what others are doing, but focus on their own challenges and achievements.

Being successful, Zimmerman maintains, is all about your attitude – “don’t let things happen to you, make them happen,” he insists. He adds that overcoming our fears is a lifelong process and that every achievement you make along the way is a step forward in the journey. 

Epic Discussion

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