February 16, 2018
The Five Rings. (an encore post)
We have a lot to learn from sports. On the surface they are games of entertainment. But if you dive a bit deeper, they serve as inspiration and a playbook for a successful career. And in sports, there is no better role model than the Olympic athlete.
The world of professional sports dangles the carrots of fame and fortune – which eventually compromises the purity of a sport and its athletes. But the Olympics, they are a different story. Occurring once every four years for the specialized season, the world’s best athletes congregate to compete in the most prestigious and coveted sports event in history. Not for money. Not for fame. But for the joy of the sport and the spirit of competition. For the pride of country. And for the opportunity to be called an Olympic Champion. Some rise and many others fall. But they are all Champions.
So what does the Olympic athlete have to do with your career? A lot more than you think. In order to be a Champion in your profession, a professional needs to approach excellence and possess the same virtues as an Olympian. For those of you who aspire to such heights…below is your Champion Checklist.
The Champion Checklist:
- Enjoy your profession
- Specific and defined goals
- A strategy to reach your goals
- Great work ethic
- Positive attitude
- Self awareness
- Ability to learn from mistakes and manage change
- Desire for challenge and personal growth
- Strong support system
- Good sportsmanship and team player
The virtues above are instrumental in creating a Champion – whether in sports or the workplace. The absence of any one will create challenges and compromise your ability to maximize your full career potential. So when assessing yourself against the list, start at the top and work through each element thoughtfully. And ask yourself the following questions: Do I possess this virtue? If so, what are examples that demonstrate it? If not…Why not? And what’s my strategy to change this? Is this virtue an area I need to improve? If so, what’s my strategy to do so?
Most everyone is searching for the secret formula for career success. And in this rapidly changing profession, one can easily get discouraged. So if you need inspiration or a reminder that most anything is possible…tune in to PyeongChang. Or replay Nadia’s perfect 10, The Miracle on Ice, Shaun White’s clutch performance, Michael Phelps’s dominance or the many other Olympic triumphs. And remember…that Champions are not limited to world-class athletes.
The Champion Checklist is an effective guide for anyone who aspires for excellence. And while it may seem like a winning formula — It will not guarantee victory. It will not guarantee fame. It will not guarantee fortune.
What it will guarantee; however…is your best shot at a Gold Medal career.