Everywhere you look in the media recently you can’t help but read or hear about the London 2012 Olympics. Amazing records being set, unbelievable success stories, and of course incredible stories of heartbreak. As I’ve been watching the Olympics over the last 10 days I’ve been struck as to how many similarities exist between these Olympic Athletes and business owners.
- Dedication – Every behind the scenes story of the athletes talks about the dedication and the sacrifices these athletes have had to make over the years to get where they are. Not only personal commitments, but how their families are affected, and the financial burden to train over the years to get themselves to the Olympics.
- Failure – One of the most interesting things about the Olympics is watching how these athletes handle failure. They don’t give up when they lose. They don’t consider themselves as failures not standing at the podium, but talk about what they’ve learned and how proud they are to have been able to participate in the event.
- Success – The glory of success. The ultimate goal of each of these athletes is to be at the podium. The emotions are so clearly evident when they achieve their goal. However, they also appreciate the smaller successes – their personal best times, the success of other team mates, and the success of being where they are.
- Team – This is one of the most crucial characteristics – even for the athletes participating in individual events. The importance of all of their fellow team members. Working together in harmony towards a common goal. You will often see them cheering each other on. No one understands the heartbreak when a routine or an event doesn’t go as planned as a fellow team member. The team provides the support needed to motivate them to stay focused on the next upcoming event.
- Coaching – There are no athletes at the Games without a coach. Even the best of the best like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt have coaches. An objective third party to help them improve, stay focused and provide them with guidance along the way.
Any of the above sound familiar? It all resonated with me personally as a business owner.
We can all learn from these athletes, but the real question you have to ask yourself is are you standing at the podium with a Gold Medal around your neck, a Bronze Medal, or what do you need to change in your business to even be on the podium?