Marcus Rashford — the First One
Marcus Rashford recently turned 24.
Quick bio: First, he breaks into the Man Utd & England teams — making an immediate impact. Then he continues to develop & get better. At the same time, he decides to be the champion of the homeless & hungry children — raising the awareness of these issues, raising money and forcing the government to U-Turn. He’s written a book; he’s been awarded honours, including a doctorate and an MBE.
And by all accounts, this multimillionaire remains modest, hardworking, courageous and driven. 24. Wow.
He is an impressive human being.
One criticism you’ll hear is “that he should stick to football” after he has a bad game. Twitter trolls are helping to prove that for every impressive person on the planet, there are ten idiots helping to keep the balance.
Another criticism is to other footballers. Why is the ‘Only One’ doing this? Why are the others not doing more? Where are the other famous people using their platform, their following, their fame, their reach to help those who would otherwise go unheard?
Some famous footballers, actors and rock stars will, of course, be forever throwing TVs out of windows, crashing cars and spending too much money and time on silliness.
But I’m confident that others will follow in Rashford’s footsteps.
I’m confident because of the critical distinction between the ‘First One’ and the ‘Only One’.
Once others can see what is possible — they will follow. I am sure that many other good people want to do more — but didn’t realise just how much they could do. Marcus Rashford has shown them a path. And that path will instil belief in others. They will do more. And they will encourage even more people to follow.
That’s my hope.
This is a model you see when people feel a connection to someone who has done something extraordinary — whether it’s the first woman, the person of colour, the first person from their town, or their street… when people see a trailblazer, and they can feel a connection to them — it gives them belief, confidence, that it is also possible for them.
In sales teams, people start to believe targets are achievable when your star salesperson crushes them. Suddenly all activity levels go up Volumes increase. Order value doubles. Your superstar salesperson is not the Only One who can do this — she is the First One. Let her show the others the way.
In 5 years, we will still be celebrating Marcus Rashford — maybe picking up the World Cup as England captain…. — but not as the only celebrity making a difference but as the first one.