Every four years we get the opportunity to watch the Olympic games and what it takes for an athlete and a team to come home with a medal. As a former amateur athlete and a successful business executive, I can really appreciate all the training, preparation and commitment it takes to be successful as an Olympian. I’ve been fortunate myself to attend both the 1996 Summer and the 2002 Winter Olympics to see this first hand. I walked away being proud of our Olympic athletes…“the best of the best”.
Imagine…working on one goal, one dream, everyday for four plus years and having it come down to an event where in most cases only lasts for a few precious seconds. All that blood, sweat and tears to see if you get the gold…and either the glory is yours or you go home without the prize and fade into obscurity. Incredible isn’t it? In my view these athletes, whether they win or lose, are all Olympic champions for just having the talent and opportunity to represent their countries and show off their stuff
While watching the games, it’s apparent each athlete possesses the same key qualities: intense discipline, focus, world-class training, the will/determination to succeed and a passion about their future. And these are the same qualities we need as business leaders and professionals no matter your industry. The only major difference is Olympic athletes have coaches around them everyday, helping keep these critical qualities in front of the athlete’s mind as they strive for the gold medal. In coaching my sales teams and clients over the years, I’ve always conveyed to them they are like Olympic athletes. The only difference is as a leader, you wear a different uniform and play on a different field. But like the athlete, you need to incorporate the same use of discipline, focus, world-class training, the will to succeed and passion. Learning your business, practicing your “art”, growing and executing will deliver the desired results and peak performance.
Let’s look at these qualities and see how you can incorporate them into your organization:
- Discipline: discipline is a key “attribute” for you to possess to be successful in the business world today. You need discipline in your work habits so you can turn bad habits into productive habits. You need discipline in performing your genius work and your teams and communicating your vision of what you want and where you want to be. Stay strong….stay consistent!
- Focus: What are your goals? What are your company’s goals? Are they compatible with each other? Are they attainable? What are the goals of your team? Define your mission statement and the steps needed to help achieve your company’s success.
- World-Class Training: The Olympian athlete trains for a minimum of four years to achieve their ultimate goal. They train, train and then train some more. Can you apply this mind-set to your organization and its training programs? The Olympic athlete goes over the same techniques, again and again and again…it’s called learning “the basics” to develop their mental muscle. I’m sure you’ve heard “we need to get back to the basics” before, there is a reason why. Are those on team trained to perform like this? What are you doing to grow and groom the “mental muscle” of your team? As I like to say “when you’re green you grow and when you’re ripe you’re rotten”.
- Passion: You must love what you do! Not that you have to love it every day, but it is the burning reason and desire you get up every morning to face the day’s challenges and successes. Let’s face it, we spend more time at work than we do at home so make sure you have the passion to deliver. It’s not that hard to do…it’s all about attitude and altitude!
TPPTip: Being an Olympic athlete is not much different than being an “Olympic” business professional. Just adapt these four principles to your business acumen and watch your success and company grow! Go USA!!