Like many of you, I have been glued to the television since the start of the Winter Olympics, watching sports that I never knew existed, learning new terminology, like “twisted sister” and generally being in awe at the courage and determination of the athletes.
Two, in particular, stand out – Mark McMorris and Denny Morrison – both of whom have had to fight back and regain their strength, stamina and health, after life-threatening accidents. What tenacity it takes to not only overcome the odds but to hang in there and have faith that it could be done.
I particularly love watching the figure skating and can be heard gasping as a skater takes a tumble or mismanages a move. Yet they carry on and complete their program, knowing that while they will have lost points, finishing is more important. Plus who knows what could happen with their competition, they could fall too.
Often as we work in our businesses, mistakes are also made along the way and at times it would be all too easy to give up, but if we want to succeed, we don’t. Instead, like the skaters, we pick ourselves up and carry on. Perhaps we improvise or leave out a part that is too risky, which is what the skaters do too. They modify their program. They adapt.
And that takes inner strength. It is one thing to make a mistake that maybe others won’t know or notice, but for the skaters, they have stumbled publicly and you can understand wanting to hide. But they’ve learned to manage their emotions, to carry on regardless, even when inside they are upset.
With the team skate, everyone’s score counted. Since it was at the beginning of the Olympics, it gave people a chance to practice their moves, before the stakes were higher, and it was the individual competition. They got to iron out the wrinkles in their personal program and perform their best for the team. A win-win all around.
Similarly, as you build your team, you want to give them the opportunity to shine, to showcase their talents, while providing a safety net should they trip, with everyone on side to provide support and you all carry on.
As small business owners, there are many lessons to be gleaned from the athletes as they compete with each other and work together as a team for the benefit of all. So far the Canadian team is showing us how it can be done.
It is, as Rosalie Wysocki once said, a case of your attitude determines your altitude.
Company of Women
I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.