I’ve long admired athletes that are at the top of their game. I’ll be honest here – when those stories are shared (especially during the Olympics' coverage), I feel like I have a front row seat to something pretty special. There might even be a tear or two shed if it’s a particularly compelling tale. Stories about athletes like overnight sensation Penny Oleksiak are fun to watch. Her enthusiasm and humbleness are refreshing. I bet she would tell you that she’s not an overnight sensation. Many long hours in the gym, early mornings at the pool, sacrificing a regular teenager’s social life for the pursuit of the Olympic dream. Don’t forget, she’s 16. Her parents, coaches and friends saw the potential she possessed and helped her nurture it so that when her chance to play on the big stage came up, she was ready.
I can assure you that I won’t be competing at the Olympics and not many of us will be. Did you know that even though we might be armchair athletes that we too are running a race?
Penny planned for success. We do this too but on a much smaller scale.
If you know that you are going to have friends over for a meal, you carefully plan the menu, shop for the groceries, budget time for cooking and clean up so that your time with your friends can be enjoyed. Other examples of how we plan for success is organizing our busy schedules to drive kids to sporting events/practices, planning to take the car to the garage for an oil change, sign up for volunteer activities – I could go on. So why…WHY don’t we do a better job of planning for our personal and professional success? Getting better doesn’t happen by osmosis. Ok, I know….we are busy. Raising families, investing in our community, going to work, keeping up with laundry – I get it. I’m right there with all of you. But what would your future look like if you made a two-degree shift in doing a little something for yourself? It doesn’t have to be some grandiose plan like starting an MBA. You can be reading a book to improve a skill. Attending a mastermind group to learn how to be a better communicator. Meeting with a trusted advisor to work on a problem you are having. See, just small steps in a much larger plan. Even small things get noticed. Co-workers will see a change in you and seek you out for advice. Your friends and family will observe that you’ve gotten a little better at handling stress or a recurring problem. Everything we do to get incrementally better will get us closer to playing in the big leagues. If you wait until the opportunity of a lifetime comes up, it will be too late. We need to plan and prepare so we are ready when opportunity knocks. Penny was keenly aware of this philosophy. She prepared and was ready for the big show. How are you preparing?
(This post has been authored by guest blogger, Randi Hayes)
Thanks for reading! People often ask me “What do you do?”. The simple answer is “I make leaders better!” I do this through leadership coaching, emotional intelligence coaching, seminars, key note talks and mastermind groups.
My purpose is to help grow the leadership influence and effectiveness of people to enable them to produce better results, build trusting relationships, and foster an engaging healthy work environment where people are excited and empowered to do their best work.
I believe our workplaces can be transformed by better leadership. I founded Changing Leaf Inc. to help organizations and individuals realize their potential by developing leaders who create confidence and inspire trust.
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