The Olympic mindset – what’s in it for you?

The Olympics is a four year pinnacle of performance excellence. It takes a massive effort and requires enormous motivation just to get there.

Are you and your organisation ready to embody the mindset of the Olympics?

Reading time: 5 minutes

What will it do?

This tool will enable you to make an assessment about whether all the Olympic concepts are for you at all. There’s no point starting something that seems like a good idea but isn’t really for you.

Use this tool yourself and encourage the leaders around you to use it too. Compare notes. Test the shared picture of success and willingness to lead towards your equivalent of the Olympics, with all things Olympic driving you.

Three steps to take

To make sure you’re not following fads that aren’t really for you.

1. How are you doing?

Take a moment to really consider your answers here. Think about you personally, those around you and those you lead. And don’t answer the really obvious answers without looking deep inside.

How satisfied are you with where you are, and the path you’re on already?

Your answer

The Olympics requires a relentless pursuit of testing yourself to win against the best in the world.

What value would this add to you and what’s your appetite to adopt on a scale of 1 -10?

How much more are you aspiring to and need to improve.

Your answer

The Olympics requires a forensic pursuit of success. Breaking performance down, brilliant basics constantly worked on, every marginal gain considered and refined.

What value would this add to you and what’s your appetite to adopt on a scale of 1 -10?

How close are you already to competing at your highest level? How close are you to fulfilling your potential?

Your answer

The Olympics requires a constant search for a higher level of consistency in the known conditions ahead. Coaches, athletes, support staff all united in adding value.

What value would this add to you and what’s your appetite to adopt on a scale of 1 -10?

If you’re doing ok and you’re ok with that then that’s ok.

2. Is it worth the effort?

The Olympic Games are fiercely demanding. Once there you could end up with nothing. How ready are you for that?

What is the size of the prize for you and everyone and what value does it have for each person?

Your answer

The Olympics requires an understanding of personal meaning, an appreciation of a place in history, a deep acceptance that success requires collaboration.

What value would this add to you and what’s your appetite to adopt on a scale of 1 -10?

Visualise the picture of success. And also visualise the ups and downs along the way. What do you see?

Your answer

The Olympics requires rolling with ups and downs. Responding to both with the same desire to keep growing. Constant performance feedback. Total commitment to growth.

What value would this add to you and what’s your appetite to adopt on a scale of 1 -10?

What confidence do you have that you can lead towards something as challenging as an Olympic Games and that those you lead can believe in you?

Your answer

The Olympics requires challenge and support from those around you that matter to you. Confidence from the past. Robust resilience. Unwavering belief in your philosophy of what it takes to win.

What value would this add to you and what’s your appetite to adopt on a scale of 1 -10?

Or are you happy with the status quo and the current trajectory?

3. What can you do to get more ready?

For an Olympics you will need to be as totally ready as possible.

The Olympic mindset What’s in it for you?
What existing knowledge, skills, choices, energy, attitude and support do you have that will help. Will these be enough? Do you have what it takes? Are you totally Performance Ready? Training programmes built to constantly build every readiness ingredient. Expert support provided and exploited in equal measure so you’re totally fit for purpose. Always understanding the value of what’s in place so you can trust what’s been built.
What readiness will you need to grow? What expertise are you going to need to build? If you truly are going to navigate to, and through, an Olympic type success, what extra will you need? Stay curious about your capacity to grow. Look to the competition for inspiration and challenge. Prepare to imagine breakthrough performance. Think “if not me, then who? If not now, then when?”

Every journey starts with a first step but most journeys don’t turn into reality.

Your plan

Get a plan Stan.

The basics you need to have in your plan are set out below. As well as these we’d encourage you to:

  • Think about the people who need to know that you’re using this tool and tell them what you’re doing. That way they can support you and won’t think you’re just being weird.
  • Think about the impact you want from using this tool. Depending on your starting point, how hard you work and how ambitious you are, you might not get that impact straight away. So valuing progress rather than perfection will help build your confidence and keep you going.

Plan basics

  1. What are you going to do? (This bit is easy – it’s probably the 3 things listed above.)

    My actions:

  2. When are you going to do these things? (You don’t have to be great to get going, but you better get going if you want to be great)

    My start date:

  3. How often will you be doing them? (Getting great has a lot to do with making things a habit)

    Check-in frequency and dates:

Get serious

The difference between having a plan and making it work is about action. So get this in your diary now. Tell the people who need to know so that they can support you and won’t just think you’re being weird. Do it now.

Remember, it’s progress not perfection. You’re looking for gradual improvement, not for Rome to be built in a day.

Other useful stuff

Take a look at these viewpoints from other kitbags in The Performance Room

Be ready like an Olympian

Choose an Olympic attitude at work

What can business learn from sport