At 1.95 m, he was supposedly too tall to race the 100m. The sports science showed it was all wrong. Even the 200m was a stretch. But in less than 10 seconds, Usain Bolt proved the experts wrong again and won the 100m Gold Medal for the third time straight at the Rio Olympics.
Being fastest and first is a goal for many Olympians and it’s a goal that many seek to achieve in their own work or business. There are many times, however, when people tell you it can’t be done.
Here’s a great article at ForeignPolicy.com demonstrating how the Ancient Greek Olympics suffered from corruption, doping scandals, internecine conflict and unhygienic competitors. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
[This post has lately been one of my more popular articles. Enjoy!]
While discussing leadership with one of my coaching clients, he commented that part of his leadership development came through owning his own business a number of years ago. Having to ensure that business came through the door, that standards were high and the workers were on the job – all while going towards feeding his family – meant that he felt total responsibility for the work requirements. That basic, elemental part of his leadership – the sense of personal responsibility – is something he has carried over to a highly successful career in a large corporation. And it is a vital quality that activates and sustains leadership.
But developing an appropriate sense of responsibility in yourself and in others can be difficult. How do you do it?
There’s often a lot of talk about the “talent wars”, with concomitant analysis, effort, strategies and expenditure to buy the “best talent”.
For your business and your people, however, you should think less about warring for talent and more about being the kind of leader that opens up talent. Talented leaders know how to bring out the latent gifts and talents of all their people. They also attract talent to them – great people want to work for people who help them to be even better. You can hire the most talented people on the planet and still get below the bar performance because you disable, discourage and disorient them.
So, instead of whining that you need better people, take a good, hard look at yourself and your leaders: Do you and your leaders bring out the best with those and the resources they already have? Is there untapped potential in your current people? Because that’s where the “war” will really be won.
Question: How do you bring out the talents of your people? Leave a comment below.
If you want to improve the performance of yourself or your organisation, contact me here. We create great results for organisations and individuals through our consulting, coaching, speaking and development experiences.
The latest Pokémon craze should get us all concerned about performance
I‘ve seen them and you’ve probably already seen them if you live in the US, Australia or NZ – gangs of youths (and adults) who would otherwise be happily and sometimes lazily ensconced in their homes or offices walking about, head up high, with phone held equally high in front of their faces, searching for Pokémons on the streets. (Is the plural of Pokémon the same as the singular?)
The question is: “How much does your performance look like a Pokémon Go user?”
In just over a week, the Pokémon Go app has added over US$9 billion to Nintendo share value, not to mention what is rising to $2 million a day in in-app purchases. It’s about to eclipse Twitter in number of worldwide users, based on release in just a few countries, and is the hottest thing out there. Taylor Swift is probably writing a song about breaking up with her Pokémon as I write.
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With global experience and success delivering results you can see, we deliver the change & growth you need. Delivered through consulting, coaching and workshops by arrangement. Contact us to discuss how you can Renew Performance, Strategy & RESULTS for yourself and your team.
Knowing Yourself is Only Part of the Leadership Equation
Many leadership development courses begin with the maxim, “Know Thyself”. The assumption is that by truly understanding yourself, then you can, in Shakespeare’s words, “To thine own self be true”. That will then guide your success in leadership. It’s the philosophy behind such models as Authentic Leadership and others.
But there’s a distinct problem with this directive as the primary foundation of leadership: Leadership is about achieving a purpose. And knowing yourself is actually subordinate to knowing that purpose.