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Defining resilience: The importance of bouncing back

John Alexander Maclean, Paralympics Silver Medal Winner in conversation with Deepak Padaki, EVP, Group Head – Strategy, M&A and Chief Risk Officer, Infosys

Highlights

  • “Transformation was a big word for a long time in the IT sector. The general theme is change, and therefore, how do you change and therefore the definition of resilience is how you bounce back,” he says.
  • For transformation, consistent goal setting is essential, Maclean says.
  • Maclean places a high degree of importance of having a good team to help with the transformation.

The first couple of times when John Alexander Maclean attempted to cross the English Channel, unfavourable weather conditions forced him to retreat, but instead of giving up either time, he persisted. And in the third go, he succeeded.

“I was adapting and understanding what was happening with the water, and the current, and the tide,” says the OAM Australian Triathlete, Paralympics Silver Medal Winner, in a conversation with Deepak Padaki, EVP, Group Head – Strategy, M&A and Chief Risk Officer, Infosys.

Adapting to an environment has been a part of Maclean’s life for a long time, especially since the time he was injured in an accident at a young age. For him, the journey from the despair of being on the hospital bed to becoming a celebrated athlete came with a lot of effort.

While he was grateful to be alive, he was raring to be out and about, and see the blue sky, the green grass, and celebrate Christmas at home. And to be able to do this the Australian sportsman motivated himself internally with thoughts of making the most of his life. Alongside, he took his doctor’s encouraging words that he would get bigger, stronger and faster quite seriously. He also places a high degree of importance of having a good team to help with the transformation.

“So by doing all the training and building myself up, that platform then allowed me to take on the local triathlon to the Ironman in Hawaii, et cetera,” he says.

Transformation too has been a buzz word in his journey over the years, and the Paralympics Silver Medal Winner considers that it holds true for the IT sector as well.

“Transformation was a big word for a long time in the IT sector. The general theme is change, and therefore, how do you change and therefore the definition of resilience is how you bounce back,” he says. Optimism is another ideal he swears by.

And for transformation, Maclean says, consistent goal setting is essential. Be it his journey out of the hospital, or his successes in the world of sports, he set up new goals every time. “I believe that life is a series of goals if we're open to them, both personally and professionally,” he says.

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