Simen Kruger fell at the start of the men’s 30KM skiathlon race- breaking his ski pole and putting a ski through his bib- but he somehow managed to compose himself and work his way up the field over the next hour, eventually claiming the most coveted medal.
Photo source: BBC Sport
There's just too much to say about yesterday’s events at the Winter Olympics for the time that I can commit to writing this blog. I know that the footage will be replacing the clips in many a motivational slide deck as we speak and more educated than me will be analysing the events to create books and courses on a new motivational level...
But as someone who is a big fan of sport, has involvement in elite sport and motivates and supports a team with challenges daily in business I congratulate and thank Simen Kruger, for in 1hr 16m Simen gave everyone a lesson in how to get things done!
Whatever your challenge is from bringing up a child, studying a new subject, learning a new skill or starting a new job there is always the things that go wrong. For Simen, he had prepared himself for his hour and a bit of glory for years. Yet, much like lots of challenges that we all take on involving people, regardless of preparation things don't always go to plan! I suggest that this practice created a belief in his own ability that enabled him to not just continue in the face of an adverse situation but still achieve the goal that he set out to reach.
Getting it right first time
My son is 9 and he has a liking for taking a 'tear it up and start again' attitude to things. He can be drawing and be creating something really wonderful and then draw a line in the wrong place or use a colour that isn't quite right and he easily will discard it and start again. I find this frustrating because I see the achievement so far and find myself appealing to him to recover the mistake or accept the imperfection. I guess it's possible to start again when you have lots of pieces of paper and you’re doing something for fun, however as adults we rarely have the luxury.
In the office I often say that Usain Bolt didn't get to where he is today without falling and scuffing his knees at some stage, and it often raise a smile, perhaps an eye roll too as I always say it, but it is true.
Picking Yourself Up
I personally know that I am resilient and can pick myself up from setbacks, however what about when it's at a critical moment? In the context of the office I have been victim of documents not saving, I remember that awful Microsoft Dr Watson error that sometimes would pop up years ago. Sometimes I've created my own problems, for example when I haven't left myself as much time as ideal. When this is in the context of an import piece of work, a presentation or tender or writing reports ahead of a critical meeting or deadline, it creates a kind of anxious despair inside me. It's these moments where real drive has to kick in. Many years ago I was told that I was good in recovery mode- and that I should work hard to not be in recovery mode!
Performing under pressure
Do you know anyone who always says I like to leave things late as I work best under pressure etc... Maybe you're one of those people. Personally I'd rather be in control and have a plan that allows enough time to get things done and check it.
Given a task with a break neck deadline or one with sufficient time to take work to time lines is always preferable to me I think. A portion of that time would be taken to check the quality of my work. However, perhaps the advantage that Simen Kruger and other athletes is that they practice and train so hard that under pressure they perform the same and do the basics right first time regardless of the circumstances.
Doing the basics right first time every time, acting with pace yet behaving the same as at normal speed and trusting your own ability can only come of practice, training and study. Who's in control of how much I learn? I think I am.
I believe raw talent will only get you so far, the rest is as they say down to hard work....
/Paul Curry, Managing Director