It has been a dismal World Cup for England fans but we can reflect on the fact that with every negative there is a positive.
What can a bunch of overpaid egotists teach us all? The answer is simple. In order to deal with adversity and move on, the team is more important than any one individual, no matter how talented they feel they are.
We have been to hell and back in our industry and, if the latest rumblings are to be believed, there is a possibility that more challenging times are just around the corner.
Fears that a second credit crunch may be approaching are gaining momentum with the end-date of support schemes both in the UK and Europe designed to assist banks and encourage lending coming into view.
Brokers and the public alike are concerned we will see a return to more serious dual-pricing, more expensive mortgage rates and more dramatic criteria tightening, leading to many businesses and individuals being exposed yet again.
What we as an industry do not want, as the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has warned, is for the number of brokers to fall below the 10,000 mark.
If adviser numbers drop too far, then we are in danger of losing our critical mass and the ability to fight our cause with lenders and take care of the uplift when normality does eventually return.
For individual firms and the industry as a whole, to see this through there has to be a large amount of teamwork.
There were some smug grins around when bigger brokers such as Cobalt and Charcol went down, as well as several networks. And while I will not complain if some of the culture of arrogance and indulgence that blinded much of our industry for a while is lost, these are now very different times and we need to support each other.
It starts from within the company and a recognition that we are all in this together. A dictatorial “I am better than you” approach will not help matters. The same goes for individual firms or spokespeople openly criticising other brokers. Healthy competition and cheeky banter is one thing but, for now, co-operation is what is needed.
This also follows on to the relationship between lenders and brokers. We need to build bridges, not burn them. The intermediary salespeople brokers regularly moan about are under just as much pressure themselves. Their jobs are also on the line and they need our support and understanding to fight their internal battles, whether this is with the risk departments or with a chief executive who fails to see the benefit of brokers.
We all have a simple choice. We can act like the England players and argue among ourselves about who is the best or we can work together as a team towards ultimate success.
Whoever lifts the World Cup on July 11 will know one thing for certain – that they are captain of the best team and every member of the squad and training staff contributed to that success.
Andrew Montlake is director of Coreco