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Leadership Wisdom from Canadian Olympians

August 9, 2012

This is not the post I had planned to write.  Originally, I was wondering whether we let ourselves off the hook when we say “it’s the journey, not the destination” because, frankly, I’m pretty sure the Olympians want to perform at their peak at the destination too. I was thinking: It’s the journey AND the destination.

So what changed my Olympic angle?

I just heard decathlete Damian Warner and Olympic bronze medallist Carol Huynh interviewed on CTV and their reflections inspired me.

  • Damian Warner set six personal bests to finish fifth in the decathlon which is impressive. More impressive is that he did not do as well as he expected in hurdles but explained that he had two options: let it affect him or move past disappointment and focus on the next event. Great advice for all of us on how to handle ourselves when things don’t go our way. Here’s the full video of the interview with this young man, a promising athlete with an amazing attitude!
  • Wrestler Carol Huynh pointed out that all the athletes competing at world class events have the strength and the speed but what sets them apart is what’s in their mind. I may borrow her mantra of Courage & Confidence which involves having the courage to take risks ! Check out her interview for a contagious smile and a winning perspective.

To these, I’ll add this interview with silver medalist Adam van Koeverden that I saw the other day. He points out the importance of surrounding yourself with excellence to improve yourself using the analogy of a world-class boxer who only improves with an equally good sparring partner.

I know there has been no shortage of Olympic blogs and leadership lessons from the podium. Of course all Olympians are models of self-sacrifice, discipline and focus but tonight I thought I’d celebrate a few that you may not have heard about and who showed how to act with grace and authenticity when you get to the destination.

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