The 2018 Olympics provided awe inspiring moments. And, if you are like me you squeezed in as much time as you could to watch the events, interviews and hear the stories behind the athletes. Happening every four years — it seems the level of enthusiasm builds even more.
Seeing the raw emotions, compelling excitement and overwhelming surprise when athletes win a gold medal, reaching the pinnacle they have always dreamed of is so inspirational. Some athletes were heartbroken when a race, skate, or game, did not live up to their expectations, but in my mind, they are all winners. To be selected to be an Olympic athlete, the best of the best, is an honor in itself.
Many examples of leaders and leadership are associated with the Olympics. However, one correlation not often related to leadership is practice. Athletes put in countless hours of practice to fine-tune their craft, prepare mentally and physically for the competition, and to stretch their limits. Practice, practice, practice! Canadian Gold medal figure skating dance pair, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, we paired up 20 years ago. At that time, no one, not even themselves could have imagined two decades later they were still staking and competing together and would become the most decorated figure skaters of all time. The number of spins, jumps, falls, and hours spent practicing in a cold rink is beyond comprehension.
Someone may have believed after Virtue and Moir’s first competition that they had a destiny ahead, just as we may believe some people have what it takes to be a leader, or they were born to be a leader. Many theories and studies have analyzed both realms of thought. But to be a leader you need to understand leadership and practice leadership. I became more aware of the correlation practice had on building leadership skills and becoming a leader, when I enrolled in the Leadership Challenge program, to gain my national facilitator certification.
I learned that like an Olympic athlete, to be the leader you strive to be takes practice. It takes time, repetition, experience, and commitment. One doesn’t suddenly turn into a leader when they are granted a promotion, given a new title, or have an advanced degree. Just as one doesn’t become an Olympic athlete without practice and dedication, becoming a leader and learning about leadership skill development is the same — it takes practice.
I look forward to the opportunity to further explore with you in future blog posts, the field of leadership and learning how to be an exemplary leader.
Until next time. . .
(photo source: Wikipedia)