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The FRONT: A Leadership Podcast

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Feb 26, 2018

When the going gets tough... the successful stay positive.

I was inspired this weekend – we have the Winter Olympics going on, that’s always great competition. And I enjoy watching things like that because there are people that demonstrate discipline, consistency, perseverance, and leadership, including leadership of oneself. Plus as a BONUS – My son competed at the Colorado Open. This event is a boys and young men’s gymnastics meet hosted at the Olympic Training Center. So, I had the opportunity to watch that in person. It really is unbelievable what the mind and body can achieve.

As I watched these competitions, one thought that crossed my mind – was that no matter what the obstacle that arose, these athletes continue to overcome and be competitors. For example, if someone falls, makes an error or misstep, a high-level level gymnastics meet – they get up, take a deep breath, reset, and then continue the routine. It never seems to cross these guys minds to stop completely or quit.

This may be their one shot!

These athletes some have trained for years, and over the weeks, multiple hours per day to compete at a high level. And then it comes down to less than two minutes per event. 10 to 12 minutes in actual competition. So even if there is a misstep, a fall, or something goes not quite as planned – this is their two minutes – so they maximize where they can. Focus, and stay positive – to compete.

At a high level, the learning happens BEFORE you get into the thick of the competition. The training to continue, that happens through drive and passion and having clarity in what you want. When people want something bad enough – they push and continue.

You see being a positive person in general, and especially in leadership – in a negative or adverse situation, IS NECESSARY, it’s not naïve. Whether you plan for it or not, there are people on the outside watching for your reaction.

Your haters, your cheerleaders, EVERYONE... is watching you, to see your outcome.

Whether the outcome is one that you count as a win or not, there is still an outcome that people will gauge you on.

That’s something else – I watched several of those in competition this weekend. When a gymnast would misstep or fall – EVERYONE, and I really mean EVERYONE, even those on the other teams spectating and waiting their turn – would yell and offer words of encouragement for them to complete their routine. This is coming from people that they are AGAINST! But every one of these guys knows the work, heart, and effort that goes into getting to this level.

At the end of the competition, or at the end of each day in business - will you have learned something? What have you learned? What are your takeaways? Are you keeping a teachable attitude for all to see? Because when you do those things, you can’t ever truly take a loss.

Every person will experience tough times. So it isn’t whether you will or not. The test is how will you continue when you face them, that will dictate levels of success.  

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