News & Views

3 leadership lessons from the Olympics

by Sarah O'Neill
1st December 2016
3 leadership lessons from the Olympics, post image

As the Olympic torch now makes its way to Tokyo in 2020, I would like to share 3 leadership lessons that I believe all leaders can take away from the Rio games.

Stay focussed

Olympic athletes are focussed on winning gold. The can see it, imagine it, and feel it. They all have a plan on how to get the gold and work towards it every day.

In business, a leader must know what their gold medal looks like and how to design and execute a plan to get it. 

Purposeful practice makes perfect

Olympic athletes have a repetitive practice strategy for success. Rain, hail or shine, they are practicing every day. Striving to be better than the day before. These athletes also know they should never let this practice schedule stagnate and that they need to be constantly aware of the need to improve their practice strategy. To make it more purposeful. To make themselves better. 

To be a successful leader you need to bring the same mindset to your business strategy. Execute daily, rain, hail or shine, go over the execution of your strategy, with your team regularly. How can it be improved, what can be done better, where do you need to focus more. At a very minimum, never let things stagnate.

It’s all about team

As noted above, Olympic athletes are fully committed to their plan. Theirs is one of extreme sacrifice and high discipline. But Olympic athletes don’t do it alone. They build a team. They build a team they can trust and together with that team they build a plan to get them to that gold medal, and then they power towards it. 

As a business leader, you are the athlete and your employees are your team. Do you trust your team? Are the team members the right ones ? Are you giving them the resources and opportunities they need to succeed? Gold medalists train, behave, think and execute like gold medallists.

Are you?

by Andy Maher
Partner at Waypoint Partners

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