What investors should learn from Olympics
Posted Monday, August 6 2012 at 18:22
There’s no other sporting event like the Olympics.
There’s no better place to learn about strength, persistence and dealing with adversity than at these games. So, as you can rightly guess, I’ve been having the time of my life for the past one week.
We regularly focus on the reasons why a team or individual won or lost a game. We delve into athletic performances, coaching strategies, mental miscues and various other aspects of the competition.
But most important, it is the lessons learnt through the games; through the victories and, perhaps more importantly, through the defeats.
My highlight for the last week has been the Chinese sensation Ye Shiwen.
he 16-year-old’s powerful performance at the London Aquatic Centre propelled her to gold medals in the 200 and 400 metres individual medley, and a world record in the longer distance.
This is the funny part, Ye’s big hands and feet and broad shoulders made her kindergarten teacher notice her and notify the government. She was taken up and taken to The Chen Jing Lun Sports School in Hangzhou.
Here, she propelled herself to compete against older children and win provincial competitions at the age of eight, two years after she had learned to stay afloat. It is the slogan that greets all who enter the school’s compound that resonated with the entrepreneur in me , “Today’s sports school student, tomorrow’s Olympics stars.”
Successful leaders and executives are very similar to Ye Shiwen. They have learned lessons acquired through competition that foster achievement and advancement. What are some of these lessons?
Practise, practise, practise
When you practise, you use your skills and you build on them. You start to break boundaries, the ones you thought “I will never be able to do.” You push past your old edge and start playing around new ones. Simply put, you get better with practice.
Many athletes are born with natural talents but they still practise to hone and develop them and to gain confidence.
Similarly, successful leaders carefully prepare and plan prior to major projects, speeches, presentations and other business events. Become a confident expert in your field through detailed preparation and practice.
Research shows that a moderate level of stress makes us perform better. It also makes us more alert and can help us perform better in sport.
Our economy has created a shakedown where the strong survive and the weak go out of business.
This is not the time to coast or slack off. This is the time to work harder and smarter than ever. It’s actually an opportunity to shine. It’s not the time to cut costs. It’s the time to invest in your people and improve processes so that your business can come out on top — regardless of how tough the conditions may be. Tough conditions give you a chance to shine—to prove yourself.
Playing with passion is the hallmark of many outstanding athletes and teams. Athletes accept that their opponents are trying to win and understand that a foul, volleyball spike or last minute sprint to the finish is not intended (usually) to be a personal attack – it is simply part of the competition.