Leading Like a True Olympian

Have you been watching the Olympics? It’s inspiring to see the spirit and determination of such extraordinary athletes.

olympicsMakes me want to work a little harder to achieve my goals — to improve my performance.

What would be possible if you improved just one aspect of your leadership performance?

Even Olympic athletes can’t work on everything at once. They pick one area. Depending on the sport, it could be something like: focus, strength, breathing, flexibility, speed or stamina.

They work on their mindset as much as their physical skill. So it is with leadership.

The best leaders fuel their mind with commitment, determination and positive expectation. They are preparing themselves to make an impact beyond building a successful business.

Mission in Action

I recently had the pleasure to meet a very impressive Olympian, Marilyn King, who is doing work that matters.

Marilyn is a two-time Olympian whose 20-year athletic career includes five national titles and a World Record. In 1979, she was injured in an automobile accident and was unable to train physically for her third Olympic Team in the grueling five-event Pentathlon.

Using only mental techniques, she placed second at the Olympic trials for the 1980 Moscow games.

We met as part of a small group of entrepreneurs from around the country who came together to share our mission and strategize about our businesses.

Marilyn is on a heartfelt mission to apply skills learned through sports to business, education and peace.

We talked about what we are doing to develop leaders.

I was struck by her relentless conviction to make a difference. She has big vision and contagious energy.

Here is Marilyn’s quote from her Olympian Thinking program:

Marilyn King
Marilyn King

An Olympian’s Challenge:

If you have passion plus vision, but no action, you’re daydreaming.

If you have vision plus action, but no passion, you’ll be mediocre.

If you have passion plus action, but no vision, you’ll get there, but find it the wrong goal.

Now, Your Challenge:

This month, pick one aspect of your leadership to improve. What will it be?

Vision? Passion? Action?

Will you work on a specific skill: Communication? Speaking? Strategic thinking? Coaching your team? Building alliances? Something else?

Building a successful business requires growing yourself as a leader — and as a person. Like an Olympian, you’ll have disappointments and moments of glory.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you need an extra dose of resilience. Keep trying. Pick yourself up when you have to. Keep going.

Continue building your leadership. It’s the foundation for your work and the ultimate multiplier in your business.

By working intentionally on your leadership, you’ll expand your influence and deepen your impact in ways you cannot even imagine now.

Pay attention to the needs around you and what’s burning inside you.

It’s time to light your torch, and run.

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