The Amazing Story of LEGO

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By James Mills, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International

Did you ever play with LEGO when you were a kid? The short film below tells the powerful story as to how one of the world’s leading toy companies was founded by the carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen over 60 years ago. It's an incredible example of innovation and persistence over failure...

Courtesy of LEGO TV

Ole and his son Godfredt overcame significant challenges to build LEGO into the globally recognised success it has since become. There are some key things we can learn from this legendary story...

1. Challenges Give Us the Opportunity to Become Better & Innovate

At the start of the story Ole lost his business and wife in relatively quick succession with four boys to look after. The father-son business partnership then had a significant order fall through, the factory burnt down a couple of times and they had many financial challenges. Each time they faced a challenge they constantly looked for the best in the situation and never gave up. In fact, each significant opportunity actually came as a result of this approach to challenges. How often do we look to give up when things seem to go against us? The mark of someone of strong character is someone who is able to persist against all odds, appreciate the challenging situations and come back in a positive way.

2. Maintaining High Standards Ensures Sustainable Success

Another mark of a legend is to have the discipline to give absolute attention to detail to your work. I was really moved by the part where Godfredt excitedly told his dad how he had saved the company money by painting the toys with one less coat of lacquer. Ole used this situation to teach his son a lesson about quality as a way of serving customers to the highest standard. The saying, 'det bedste er ikke for godt’ (The best is never too good) is the company’s motto that has lasted for decades. It shows the importance of taking responsibility to ensure something is the best it can be. Having high standards and the self-discipline required to do so applies as much to the way we keep our homes clean as it does to building businesses. Through 'walking our talk' we naturally inspire others to do the same; whether at home or in the workplace.

Has this story inspired you to overcome your own challenges to pursue your goals? Feel free to  share in the comments below...

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Image of Lego figure courtesy of Chris Christian @ Flickr