Along with a couple of billion people around the world, I have been glued to my television watching the 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES. Watching competitions I did not know existed and cheering for things and people I know little about. The Olympics have this affect. You have to admit, the athletes are phenomenal! Multiple Gold Medal winners such as Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Missy Franklin, Allyson Felix, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Sanya Richards-Ross, and Serena Williams showed us why they reign.
My neighbors must have heard me screaming with excitement during the entire match as Serena Williams won her first individual Olympic Gold Medal. She was a vision of pure skill and determination. She was a woman on a mission!
Commentators had a lot to say. They talked about how tight Serena’s game was and correctly doubted if her opponent could compete with “Serena at her best”. One said, “WHEN SHE IS FIT, WHEN SHE IS COMMITTED, WHEN SHE WANTS IT, NO ONE AND NOTHING CAN STOP HER.”
It is easy to draw parallels between what happens in sports and what happens at work. If you want to be the best, if you are going for the Gold – that next job, a promotion or raise – TAKE LESSONS FROM GOLD MEDAL ATHLETES.
GET FIT AND STAY FIT
All of the Olympic athletes train constantly. They know their competitors are training hard. They know there can always be someone faster, stronger, more talented (and in our world of work – perhaps more well connected). They all have coaches. Staying fit in the workplace means staying current in your chosen profession (continuous education, membership in trade associations, studying your organization and understanding its goals and business strategy). No one can do this for you. This you must do for yourself. Remember, persistence not perfection.
Be in it to win it. The secret is to wipe the slate clean each day. So the boss gave you hell today. You did not get the promotion. The raise did not come through. Wipe the slate clean and go for it again tomorrow. The ability to return to your “A” Game after a missed shot, a bad play, or defeat is the real mark of a champion. Commitment is in the head. Hunger is in the heart!
WANT IT. BE HUNGRY AND STAY HUNGRY
The individual Olympic Gold Medal had eluded Serena. She wanted it badly. This was evident from the moment she walked onto the court. Her eyes said, “This is mine”! She understood past success does not ensure you win today or tomorrow. Whether your goal is to climb a career ladder, learn a new trade, or stay where you are in the job you have, you must want it badly enough to sacrifice enough to get it and keep it.
How fit, committed, and hungry are you?