The Olympic Games are here again. As usual, some of the best parts are the stories behind the stories—the personal lives of the athletes. Have you noticed the consistent theme of grueling work and sacrifice it takes just to get to the Games? Olympic athletes have that special something that drives them to reach the gold. It takes about the same grit and determination to become a successful entrepreneur!
Systems Help Athletes Excel
With few exceptions, athletes apply systems learned from experienced coaches who know the "best practices" to achieve excellence in a given sport. The Olympic athlete follows daily routines and systems that include physical conditioning, nutrition, psychological preparation, and skill development—all designed to produce peak performance at just the right moment. Measurement is essential as the athlete continually strives to better his or her best.
Athletes become champions by executing skill-development systems day-in and day-out until they master every detail and can deliver a near-perfect performance with consistency. Fractions of a second separate those on the winner's podium from those you never hear about again.
In business, it's the little things done each day to please customers and reduce waste that also separates winners and losers. "Pig-headed determination" (Chet Holmes) to manage the important details of the business is the foundation for excellence.
What is Your System to Win the Gold?
And one more thing. Did you happen to catch Shaun White's (USA) final performance to win the gold medal in the snowboarding half-pipe event at the 2010 Winter Olympics? He executed a trick that no one had ever seen before, and the broadcasters described as "impossible." Shaun gave it the name, the "Double McTwist 1260," He landed it for the first time in Park City, UT, just one month before the Games.
So, the lesson is this: We need to execute our core business systems with precision just to stay in the game—to compete. However, sometimes we need a ground-breaking system that blows our customers away in order to win the gold!
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