High performance athletes can teach us a great deal about what it
takes to succeed in life, and in business.
Leaders of the world unite! We’re not talking about heads of state, royal families,
or politicians, but rather the athletes that are competing in the 2012 Olympics being held in London.
There are 204 countries competing, and it is estimated there will be over 10,000
athletes at Friday’s opening ceremony. That’s a lot of leaders!
Not only are Olympians exceptional athletes, they also possess many of the same
qualities and behaviors leaders in the business world, in public service, and in the
private sector possess.
Some of these behaviors and qualities include: motivation, commitment, teamwork,
dedication, determination, competency, and integrity. (They sound awfully familiar
Greg Searle, a British rowing gold medal winner, provides his viewpoint on how
elite athletes and top business leaders have shared strategies. Here are some
excerpts for what he says leads to success:
1. Find a vision; set short term goals to achieve overall success.
So many leaders talk about goals and talk about a vision but they don’t make
it exciting, compelling or engaging enough for people to want to achieve it.
The great leaders are the ones that can create that enthusiasm for long
term success which drives everyday behaviors in their team.
2. Feedback is your best friend.
An important point for businesses and their leaders is that many companies
don’t use the support function as well as they ought to. Everything is
meticulously measured . . . and it’s the personal feedback that is most valuable.
3. Unshakeable self-belief: Self-confidence versus self-esteem
The respect you earn as a sportsman or in your career has been gained over
the course of years. It’s important to remember that respect can’t be lost in
the blink of an eye. On an individual basis, self esteem is deep lying and built upon successes and setbacks over the course
of a lifetime. . . but it’s vital to maintain self esteem by reminding yourself of your successes in the past and that overall,
your quality will shine through.
4. Controlling the controllable.
As a leader or a sportsman it’s important to be prepared by addressing the
things that are within your control. Any strategy needs to be based upon what
we can do to make a difference to our performance to get the best result. After
that, it is simply a case of controlling your reaction to everything else.
5. Recognizing pressure as a positive
We need to know we can perform at our best when under pressure. Expect self-doubt and nerves, but know those feelings can get you to produce your best
Vince Lombardi said: “The spirit, the will to win, and the will to
excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more
important than the events that occur.”
Wishing the athletes of the world the will to win, excel, and endure!