The last few weeks have been magnificent, haven’t they?
Summer finally showed up, and we’ve been able to enjoy the most glorious array of GB victories and special performances in the Olympics. It is enough to make you feel a whole lot better, whatever else is going on, and has even pushed the ‘political uncertainty’ agenda out of the headlines for a while. Well, I am certainly not going to spend any time on that topic before I have to – so let’s get back to the sport.
What lessons can we learn from being the first nation ever to increase its medal haul four years after hosting a home Olympics? Firstly, that there must have been a plan in place prior to and beyond 2012 to make Rio such a huge success. These sort of results don’t happen overnight: goals need to be set, training processes and support systems need to be put in place, new talent needs to be found and nurtured, and the bigger picture needs to be managed perfectly.
The thing I want to bring to your attention, though, is the lesson that is most relevant to you, in your business, today. Our home Olympics in London 2012, was an unequivocal success. On almost every level you can think of it shone: the opening and closing ceremonies, the games-makers, the venues, the GB performances and medal count, the legacy and so on… Even with a few gripes that people might have had (there are always some) no one could really see it otherwise. Yet in 2016, we achieved even greater success in the medals table!
That is because Team GB did not rest on its laurels.
From the top, you can go up or down!
When things are going drastically wrong in life, we often try to stimulate the optimist in us and say, “well, things can’t get any worse.” The reverse logic then would suggest (and we’ve all been here too), that when you have reached a pinnacle or outstanding performance that, “it’s all going to be downhill from here” can become our mindset. Sometimes we have a tendency to take our foot off the gas, or ease up just a little too much (in the midst of great celebration) when we hit the heights of success. It makes no sense to act in this way!
Look for another height to climb!
I’m all for celebration and rewarding those who deserve recognition: that is vitally important. I’m also acutely aware that the best way use success is to harness the momentum it creates and head for even greater achievements. The phrase, “resting on your laurels” comes from the precursor to the early Olympics where the victors were given wreaths rather than medals as recognition of their achievements. Over time, the laurels would shrivel and die, as would the memory of their success when superseded by a new champion.
For me it is important to keep looking ahead, planning for the next target, setting out a plan to get even better and never becoming complacent in yesterday’s triumphs. I encourage all of my clients to think likewise and enjoy seeing their ongoing successes as a result.
Roll on Tokyo in 2020…