I have been totally blown away by the London 2012 Olympics. There are a few days still to go and I am inspired by the sportsmen and sportswomen of Team GB, in particular, although there have been fantastic performances from many other nations too. I have been particularly impressed and inspired by the Team GB cycling and rowing teams, and have been thinking about why that is. I think it’s because both teams totally understand the concept of being a team – they are there for each other through thick and thin. They also have great performance directors, in the shape of David Brailsford, Performance Director of the cycling team (and also of the professional cycling team that won the Tour de France!), and David Tanner, the unassuming ex-head teacher who is the Performance Director of the Team GB rowing team.
Both men have ensured that their athletes have all the resources in place to be the best that they can possibly be. They have left no stone unturned in their quest to provide their people with the very best equipment, coaching and motivation. David Brailsford was interviewed on television during the Games, and he was asked what the targets had been for the cycling team at London 2012. He replied that they didn’t really have targets as such, everyone just focussed on being the best that they could possibly be. That made me ask myself the question – ‘Am I the best that I can possibly be at anything that I do?’
There have been many lovely moments, one of my favourites was when Katherine Copeland’s face lit up with total shock when she realised that she had ‘won the Olympics’. (Link to BBC story and video is below). How brilliant it must have felt to have contributed to creating that feeling within someone. Another great moment was when Chris Hoy had just taken Steve Redgrave’s Olympic medal record. Steve sought Chris out and the two men hugged each other warmly. You could see there was a lot of love and respect between the two great champions. That’s something that is missing in so many workplaces in the 21st. century – love and respect.
So, what am I going to learn from this bonanza of positivity that has engulfed Britain over the past two weeks, and will continue with the Paralympic Games? Well, I am going to redouble my efforts to create better workplaces and great customer experiences through encouragement and support. And on a personal note I am going to get back into cycling. Don’t expect so see me adorning any velodromes, but wouldn’t a trip to Rio in 2016 to see how Team GB fares in the next Olympics be a great idea!
Here is a link to the Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking story on the BBC Sport website. Watch the clip on i-Player, it’ll inspire you!