The 2012 Summer Olympics in London have certainly been inspirational – even prompting a London man to attempt to swim across the Atlantic Ocean! I recently read a piece “Olympic Like Thinking, Olympic Size Producing” where Bill Bachrach, one of the financial services industry’s leading authorities on building high-trust client relationships, encourages what he calls “Olympic Thinking,” or the adoption of high standards in our personal and professional life. He listed five characteristics of “Olympic Thinkers” and it made me reflect that many of the business owners and C-Suite executives I have interviewed have these characteristics. The five characteristics Bill cited were:
- Olympic Thinkers Take Risks
- Olympic Thinkers Don’t Make Excuses
- Olympic Thinkers Tend to be Perfectionists
- Olympic Thinkers Have High Standards
- Olympic Thinkers Seek Feedback
Bill notes that raising your own standards involves a level of risk-taking to improve your performance and writes, “In our business and personal lives we can’t play it safe and expect to achieve our highest levels of success. Fortunately, the risks are seldom as bad as we imagine and the rewards are often greater than we expect. If the primary motivation behind your decisions is to avoid unlikely worst-case scenarios, your options will be severely restricted. Olympic thinkers take risks and don’t permit the remote possibility of a negative outcome to overshadow the probable positive results.”
Adding that Olympic thinkers focus on results, don’t make excuses for poor performance, and tend to seek perfection, Bill also has some interesting insights as to the benefits of working as an Olympic team. Rather than letting one another off the hook for sub-par efforts, he writes, “People with high standards truly support one another with encouragement to take their endeavors to the highest levels possible.” That’s how I think of our relationships, two team members with high standards, dedicated to working together to achieve your goals.
Bill closes his three-part article with this observation ,“Feedback serves as the measurement system for improvement. Feedback sets the benchmarks for achieving the high standards you have set for yourself. Feedback, not Wheaties, is the true breakfast of champions.”
As always, I invite you to let me know how you think we are doing.