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Olympic Qualities At Work

On10/ 08 /16
The 2016 Olympic Games are now well underway, bringing some thrilling action as each nation hunts down medals.

The biggest event on the sporting stage gives us occasion to reflect on what it takes to succeed, whether in sport or our own working lives. 

In particular, the tenacity, dedication, ambition and team spirit required of Olympic competitors can serve as a great model for employers and employees alike.

We’ve put together 5 examples of qualities and skills found in the world’s most highly performing athletes, to help you develop your career and go for gold in the workplace.

1. Preparation

Preparation is essential for success. Athletes competing at Rio will have been preparing for the games for most of their lives. Many will have discovered their talent at an early age and honed it gradually and meticulously, setting short and long-term goals to reach the top of their sport.

The same lesson goes for the world of work: if you set out your long term vision for your career and create short term goals that supports this, you are far more likely to achieve success. What’s more,
just as you wouldn’t run a marathon without training for it, it makes little sense to launch into a big project or put yourself forward for a new role without preparing.

2. Tenacity

Olympic athletes simply don’t have the option of (quite literally) giving up at the first hurdle. Sporting success doesn’t just require skill, it also demands the mental and physical strength to carry on in the face of difficulties. 

Setbacks can come in many forms from injuries to “hitting the wall”, and Olympic athletes need the tenacity to be able to push through. Similarly, in the context of the workplace, you cannot abandon a project if you face a blip or give up if you miss that promotion. Instead, you need to regroup, set new short term goals and keep going.

3. Focus.

Olympic sport requires deep mental and physical precision. To compete at the highest level, it’s crucial for athletes to maintain their focus. A single slip of the mind or moment of inattention could mean the difference between first and last place. 

Similarly in the workplace - you should always aim to keep your focus on the task at hand. This will help you to avoid blunders big and small, whether a misinterpreted brief or an embarrassing typo. Attention to detail can make all the difference to the overall quality of you work.

4. Team spirit.

Because of the culture of celebrity surrounding Olympic athletes, it’s easy to forget just how much they rely on their support teams of coaches, physios, family and friends.

Nobody is able to achieve at the highest level without support and cooperation - in a word, without team spirit. In the workplace, this means actively contributing, recognising and encouraging the skillsets of others and delegating effectively.

5. Olympic Thinking

Dave Brailsford, former performance director of British Cycling believes in working for “marginal gains”. This is explained by the idea that “if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together”.

The same thinking can be applied to each task you do during your working day. If you aim to improve each one and then put them all together, it should impact your overall performance significantly. So what can you improve on today?

If you are looking for the next challenge in your career, get in touch with Berks and Berks. Our knowledgeable consultants can help you take the next step on your way to success.
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