Saturday, February 27, 2010

Speed Skating Medals Come With A Price

Vancouver Olympics. What can we learn from them for our business success?

Short track speed skating is a little like a roller derby. You never know what crashes or fouls could wipe someone out of the race. Strategy and focus are key. No room for errors.

That's tougher than running a business, but we can learn from these skaters.

Did you watch the Men's short track 5000 meter relay? How about the men's long track team pursuit? What did you learn?

I saw the power of teamwork.
The Canadians, Gold medalists now in the long track pursuit were synchronized, taking turns with who would skate in front, and who would take advantage of the draft. They were steady and stayed together, while the other team separated from one another.

The Canadian Gold medalists of the men's 5000m relay short track, had their strongest skater begin and end the race. They kept their strategy a secret from everyone, but later shared that they were determined to start strong, be up front from the beginning, and finish strong. The timing and strength of the "push" is most important in this race.

What can we learn from the skaters?

. Spend time strategizing with your various teams to determine how to draw on one another's strengths. Write out your team's goals and action plans so that you are in harmony with one another.

. Stay focussed.

. Know when and how to "push" one another for greater momentum.

. Have fun. It's thought that part of the success of the Canadian team in the 500 metres, was their judicious use of downtime in the week. They played war-based video games and watched post-apocalyptic videos.

. Be confident, and always ready to improve. Canadian men's coach Derrick Campbell, said of Gold medalist, Francois-Louis Tremblay, "the one quality that stands out to me is he's had Olympic success and he's still trying to improve."

Team Usana now has 20 medals, and still counting!


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