Jacky Leonard's blog

Archive entries for: Apr-2018

Lessons from The Friendly Games

Categories:  Business Coaching, Being on purpose, Sport and Leisure

“Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.”

– Dan Gable

With the 21st Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast well and truly behind us, I’ve been reflecting on this wonderful event.  I, like many others, was enthralled with the spectacle, energy and passion, which kept me glued to the visual Valium (TV) to catch the highlights whenever possible.  Follow this link to revisit some of the best moments: https://www.gc2018.com/article/best-moments-gold-coast-2018-commonwealth-games

It’s always been my favourite sports event and I was fortunate to support Badminton Wales as a Team Manager at Glasgow 2014.  It seems to live up to its title of the ‘friendly Games,’ and this year seems to have been no exception.  However, friendly, didn’t mean any less competitive.  Competition was fierce, records broken and personal bests achieved, as athletes from 71 nations across the Commonwealth came together to battle for sporting honours.  It had everything…nail biting finishes, unexpected wins and edge of the seat competitive action.  There were tears of joy and pain, displays of grit and determination and a wonderful sense of comradery that crossed sports and nations.  I was immensely impressed with the way athletes from all disciplines, performed and conducted themselves throughout the event on and off the field of play. 

All home countries excelled, with England coming 2nd in the medal table, Wales in 7th, Scotland in 8th and Northern Ireland 20th.  Wales celebrated their most successful Games to date, edging ahead of Scotland in the medals table with 10 Golds to Scotland’s 9. Proud to be Welsh!  Well of course I am; and these events tweak your patriotism a little more. 

It takes years of dedication, practice and sacrifice to be successful in any endeavour.  I believe there’s a lot we can learn from sports and those involved. Tenacity, resilience, agility, dedication, commitment, teamwork, leadership…the list goes on.  Elite athletes epitomise these skills in their pursuit of glory, self-actualisation and personal fulfilment.

Let’s not forget the many people who are part of the team that support, encourage and dedicate their time, resources and energy to enabling them to be their best selves and showcase their talents. The parents, coaches, trainers, team managers, technical staff, officials, organisers, therapists etc.  These individuals work tirelessly to create the right environment and conditions that allow athletes to focus their attention on improving their performance.  Regardless of the sport, it’s a real team effort.  Planned, executed and reviewed continuously towards a clear, well-formed outcome.

So what lessons are there for you?  Here are just a few questions to consider about your own business:

  • Do you have a clear vision of the future and a well-defined strategic plan?
  • Do you and your team have the competencies required to take the action needed to make your business a success? 
  • Do you have access to good support networks?
  • Do you know your competition strengths and shortcomings?
  • Do you view your failures as feedback, or allow inevitable set backs to throw you off course?
  • When things don’t go quite to plan, do you find ways to recover quickly?

If the answer is YES, that’s fabulous.  Keep up the good work.  If, however the answer is NO, or you’re not sure, perhaps it’s time to improve your game plan.