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Olympic-size career hindrances


The Olympics are an emotional time for athletes and their families, who spend years preparing for a few minutes or even a few seconds to prove themselves as the best in their sport. As workers, we can learn a few things from the preparation, sacrifice, discipline, dedication and financial commitment Olympians often make to realize their goals.{{more}}

Losing can be valuable. The heartbreak of defeat is easily detected on the faces of athletes who spend years preparing, but fail to qualify or win a medal. This is especially true when the Olympian only has one shot at ever being in the Olympics, due to age or other reasons. No one likes to lose, especially in a culture where we no longer teach the importance and value of sometimes failing. Yes, failing can be good if the right approach is taken to it. It hurts, it can be devastating, but even at work when we fail to gain a promotion or fail to meet the expectations of a boss or client, the impact can be just as painful, especially when there are financial consequences. But, like the Olympians, use your failure to stop and evaluate your areas that need improving, pieces you may have overlooked or the people or elements you may need to incorporate to achieve your goals. Don’t just sit on the sidelines and cry. Do that for a brief moment, then get yourself up and use that failure to propel you to greater success. Nothing great is ever achieved easily.

Pitiful Preparation. This year American swimmer Michael Phelps, who dominated the 2008 Beijing Games, winning 8 medals in the 8 events he competed in, did not fare as well. Maybe it’s because instead of training for 4 years, like he did prior to the 2008 Games, he only trained 9 months and was not in the best shape. Like Michael, have you lost your edge because you are simply resting on your laurels? Have you stopped doing the preparation to ensure you deliver an exceptional performance on everything that you do at work? Nothing beats preparation, whether it’s for a meeting, a new project that is being rolled out or new responsibilities you’ve been given. Regardless of what it is, past successes do not guarantee future success. Proper planning prevents pitiful performance.

As you watch the Games over the coming days, appreciate the commitment, sacrifice and effort the Olympians and their families put forth and see how you can take a page from their work ethic. While you are doing that, remember the importance of team support and let’s rally around Team SVG, as they proudly represent our homeland. Wishing Tolga Aslan Akçayl, Courtney Williams and Kineke Alexander the very best. Go Team SVG! You make us proud on this world stage.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to [email protected]
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