Individual performance needs team work

The wonderful success of the British and Northern Irish athletes at the Rio Olympics was inspirational, for the hard work, dedication and commitment that they showed. But, whether it was a team performance (like women’s hockey, the men’s coxed eight or the men and women’s cycling team sprint) or an individual (like Mo Farrah, Nicola Adams or Jason Kenny) they all paid tribute to the team that helped them get their gold medals. This included the coaches, the nutritionists, the technicians and the sports scientists who collectively supported them to success.
This is something that all organisations need to take on board. Each person in the company, from the front line customer service assistant to the CEO is only as good as all the others who work together to make it possible for them to perform to their best. What’s more, they all have to be focussed on the delivery of peak performance. The Olympic athletes peaked at the one event, although many of them have performed as well in national and international competitions, but the way that Sports UK allocates funding, makes Olympic performance a critical goal for their development.
By contrast, businesses have to peak constantly. Delivering at their best has to be their day to day goal, not a one off event every four years. Of course, it’s hard to achieve that level of performance consistently, which is why Olympic athletes have to build up to doing their best. But even if achieving that level of excellence the whole time is difficult for any business, then maybe they should aim to get as close as they possibly can. They also need to be asking the question: ‘Are we aiming for Gold, Silver or Bronze?’. Unfortunately, far too many give the impression that they aren’t even that keen on being in the race!