I often get asked, does sport mimic life? The answer is yes & no.
When we look at organizations, most have a clear set of goals and objectives they need to achieve. It’s a basic necessity for a functioning organization that hopes to be successful and profitable. Competitive sports in the purest sense is about setting goals (long-term and short-term) and achieving these goals and objectives (that’s the yes answer to the above question). For example, a 100m sprinter needs to run 100m in a certain time in order to win a race. Or a hockey team needs to beat the opposing team in order to get into the playoffs. (Us vs. Them. I’ll talk about that in future blogs). The goals are very clear for what is required to achieve a desirable outcome.
Sport provides the viewing audience with athletes performing in a contained environment for the most part (that’s the no to the questions above) were the performance requirements are clear and straight forward (e.g. you need to run 100m in 9.5 seconds). If organizations operated in this type of environment it would be easy to establish goals and objectives, and start achieving them. However, the world outside of sports can be very dynamic with lots of moving parts, some of which can not been seen or have even guessed at with the respect to impact on performance. This can make achieving organizational goals and objectives very challenging.
In most cases, spectators of sporting events do not see all the hours of training, sacrifices and set-backs all high-level athletes and teams go through in order to become high-level performers. What spectators do see is the “final” performance, be it for an Olympic gold medal or the final hockey game in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
So when we see and hear about great organizations and businesses achieving extraordinary results and becoming industry leaders, explore what actually got them to that level of performance. I am sure you will be surprised by the amount of work hours, sacrifices and set-backs they had to endure to reach their level of performance.
All the best in achieving your highest performance.