There is a wealth of leadership knowledge to be gleaned from the London Olympics. We’re watching the best-of-the-best athletes at the culmination of years of training and personal sacrifice. It’s their defining moment to win an Olympic medal or return home empty handed. It’s all about winning. And then there are the coaches who push, inspire, console and accept nothing less than perfection up to and through that final competition. It’s the coach’s job to find performance gains and levels of consistency that athletes cannot find on their own. The combination is a true testament to the power and potential of a single, shared vision.
As business leaders, our version of winning Olympic gold is much more subdued. We lead our companies to win by hitting goals, protecting profit margins, creating profit and positive cash flow. We grow the value of our companies. We celebrate these wins. We coach employees to bring out their best performance. We deal with setbacks and rally our teams to overcome adversity. But the clock never stops ticking in business. We end a month, quarter or fiscal year and start all over again. It’s what we do as leaders. It’s what defines the no-compromise leader. [Read more...]