What do the Olympics and Titleless Leaders Have in Common?

As a colleague of Nan’s, I periodically post here about titleless leaders, and watching the Olympics got me thinking.

For the past few weeks, my daughter and I have been anxiously awaiting the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Hearing, the common phrase of “All eyes will be on London as the Olympics begin,” makes us pause in front of the TV. I do not have any athletic talent and balance is a skill I struggle with even on a good day. So, I’m amazed with the incredible skill of all these athletes, especially the gymnasts.

As these exceptional athletes come together in one place and I learn of their different backgrounds and personal stories, I am aware of something we do have in common – two titleless leader behaviors: determination and discipline.

What does determination look like?

According to Merriam-Webster determination is a firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end, a focused purpose. Athletes seeking to compete in the Olympics and be the best of the best in the world certainly have a fixed intention. They push themselves when they aren’t in the mood to train, they practice long hours every day to perfect their skill set, and when they fail they get back up again, and again, and again.
 
What does discipline look like?

According to author Jim Rohn, discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. Without the discipline “to do” the work, whatever it is to be successful in the Olympics, in the workplace, in personal relationships and in life you will won’t reach your goal. It is tough to prepare, to do the work and practice every day. There are days full of distractions, other demands and too little time. And yet, only those who are determined and disciplined reach their goals.

So, as my daughter and I are riveted to the Olympics we will be seeing both extraordinary athletes and titleless leaders. And chanting, USA USA USA!