As the countdown starts for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics, you can’t help but feel in awe of the 11,000 athletes who are gathering together from 206 countries to compete on the world stage.
The Olympic Games mark the culmination of years of hard work, discipline and commitment – demonstrating once and for all that practice really does make perfect. As commercial skills trainers and coaches we understand better than most that this principle is as important for commercial athletes who want to reach the top of their game as it is for Olympians.
Putting In The Hours
Jessica Ennis-Hill, Chris Froome and Mo Farah all share a deep-rooted desire to achieve the extraordinary. And they understand that this takes blood, sweat and tears. As the saying goes, “There is no glory in practice, but without practice there is no glory” and this holds equally true in the business world as it does in the gym or on the track.
People often wrongly assume that you are either a born negotiator or a natural presenter, when in fact all commercial life skills can be learned and developed. According to the 10,000 Hour Rule, it takes 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” to become world-class in any field. So whether it’s dedicating time to mastering the art of negotiation, sales or public speaking, it’s never too late to invest in yourself and your learning.
Raising The Bar
One of the key attributes that all Olympic athletes share is a winning mindset and the belief that good is not good enough. They aspire to greatness – constantly upping their game so they can beat their personal best. Tom Daley, for example, decided to learn a brand new dive only 18 months before the Olympics because he thought it would increase his chances of winning a gold medal. Double Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton, set herself a new and demanding challenge when she retired from cycling and retrained to become a jockey. She came fifth at Cheltenham and described it as “probably the greatest achievement of my life”. This clearly shows the incredible power of a growth mindset and how this enables you to reach the pinnacle of success. By believing in yourself and setting new and challenging goals, you too can unlock your confidence and drive your commercial performance.
So as the Games commence and we watch the Olympic triumphs unfold, be inspired by these powerful stories of ambition, drive and commitment and kick-start your own commercial training so you too can be the very best that you can be.