Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Continuous Improvements of Olympic Proportions

Image courtesy of Captain Roger Fenton 1860
I've written previously about my kids' Taekwondo classes and have also shared the values instilled by their Master Instructor, including how they relate to the customer experience. Indulge me for one more story. (OK, there might be more in the future!)

In honor of the 2012 Summer Olympics, my post today is about a great story the Master Instructor told a few weeks back. (A little background on him. He's a 4-time U.S. National Champion and was a member of the US Olympic Training Center Resident Athlete Program, which means he had the opportunity to train with the best athletes and coaches in the world.) The story goes as follows, as told by our Master Instructor about his coach.

The morning after watching an Olympic track event, Coach was walking on the beach. He saw the athlete who had won the gold medal in his race the night before; it was 6:00 AM, and the athlete was out for a run. Coach asked him what he was doing out so early, and the athlete's response was simple: "Training for the next Olympics."

A couple of lessons here, for athletes and leaders alike:
  • Stay sharp
  • Stay focused, don't get distracted, keep your eye on the goal
  • Know your purpose
  • Be self-disciplined
  • No excuses
  • Never stop, never give up
  • Never rest on your laurels
  • Never be satisfied
  • Always strive to improve
  • Do the unexpected
  • Make sacrifices
  • Keep on training
Once you've reached one goal, set and prepare for the next one, strive for the next level. Your best performance today may not be your best performance tomorrow. Your best performance today may not win the race tomorrow. The world is changing and evolving, as is your competition. And so are your customers and their needs.

No one ever said this was easy. The journey continues...

Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” ~Mark Twain

Update: Thank you @gostonemantel for the reminder: celebrate your success! Definitely take a moment to take in everything that you've achieved, thank those around you who have helped you reach your goals, and recognize those who have been instrumental in your success.

2 comments:

  1. Enjoyed the post Annette,

    I can't but help think that clarity of focus is the key to just about anything.

    It is the one (and probably only) thing that Mother Teresa and Arnold Schwarzenegger have in common.

    James

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    1. James, thanks for reading my blog and for your comments. Glad you enjoyed the post. You make a great point. And thanks for the laugh. :-)

      Annette :-)

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