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At your service: Go for the gold!

What we can learn from Olympic champions.


October 12, 2021
By Russ Dantu

The Olympics have recently finished and Canada has won the most medals in a non-boycotted year ever! Well done to all the Olympians who trained hard, chased their dreams and grew from the experience. Not everyone came home with a medal, but when you think about what it takes to even become an Olympian, it’s an amazing feat just to be a part of the Olympic team.

This got me thinking about what we can learn from our Canadian heroes and how it applies to our workplaces:

  1. Finding the right coach or mentor to help us succeed is crucial. Someone with years of business experience in our specific industry and has gone through the good times and bad times can guide us, help us avoid unpleasant situations and help us be our absolute best. When we succeed, they also succeed and share in the big wins we have because they have played such an important role in us accomplishing greatness.
  2. You get out of it what you put into it. I see many business owners and managers who are passionate about what they do and they give 100 percent all the time. They encourage and invigorate their teams to do the same and reward them for their efforts. Unfortunately, I also see a lot of business owners and managers who have lost their drive, become stagnant in their growth, given up or just seem like they really don’t care. As business owners, we need to have the same drive we had when we first opened our doors. As managers, we need to continuously strive to up our game and groom our employees to be their best so we are at the top of the pack in our industry.
  3. Attitude determines altitude. I remember many times in my youth while playing on sports teams, I would see some incredibly talented athletes who could have gone onto greatness but their attitude was poor. They let greatness slip away because they thought they were good enough in skill that it would carry them. In business, there are a lot of talented people out there with extremely sharp minds. They rise to the top because they also possess that incredibly important asset which beats out talent all of the time: attitude. Without a positive attitude, you’ll drag yourself down and the team down. With a positive attitude, the sky is the limit.
  4. Talent can be taught. Too often, I see amazing people doing such a good job in the position they are in that owners and managers do not promote them when openings happen. I have stated before that sometimes people are pushed into a different position because they excel. It can sometimes backfire, but it’s also true that if we offer them the right training, give them the support they need and encourage them, they can learn new talents and really excel in a new position. Take our Olympic gold medalist, Kelsey Mitchell, who won in the track sprint event. She didn’t start cycling until four years ago. She had always played soccer. Now she’s an Olympic champion cyclist!

When we look at our businesses and our teams, we should think of them like training grounds for the Olympics. If we are going to be the best in our respective businesses, we have to have great coaches and mentors. We have to lead by example and give 100 percent all the time. We have to display a positive attitude when working with our teams, colleagues and customers. We have to find talent within our teams and promote accordingly to take our game to the next level. 

Being an Olympian isn’t easy. Neither is being a business owner. These four simple suggestions, that have helped groom many athletes into Olympians, can also help you elevate your company and team to be the very best in your industry.

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Take care of yourselves, your teams and your customers! 


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