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What The Olympics Can Teach Us About Business

February 21,2018 00:17

In business, we strive to become successful and reach the highest career level possible. There aren't medals given out, but there are still competitions to win. Every time you receive a promotion, you've won. When you're awarded a contract, you've also ...


Ashira Prossack , Women@Forbes I write about Millennials and challenging the status quo at work. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

(Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)

It’s February 2018, and as happens every 4 years, all eyes are on the Winter Olympics. The biggest competitive stage in the world is set to showcase the culmination of athletes’ years of hard work and perseverance. What if we approached business the same way athletes approach the Olympics?
In business, we strive to become successful and reach the highest career level possible. There aren’t medals given out, but there are still competitions to win. Every time you receive a promotion, you’ve won. When you’re awarded a contract, you’ve also won. When you’re selected to be on a committee, you guessed it, you’ve won.
These successes aren’t arbitrary. You put in the work just like Olympic athletes do. You practice and hone your skills to become the best person for the job. You know what you want and you do what it takes to get there.
Let’s take a look at some of the lessons we can learn from the Olympics and the athletes competing there.
Know what you want to achieve and have a plan to reach your goals.
An Olympic athlete gets a chance to step into the spotlight every 4 years. They start planning for that chance years in advance. In business, the goals aren’t always as easy to define, but it’s important for you to focus in on exactly what is it that you want to achieve. Once you have a clear definition of your goal, you can formulate a plan to help you achieve it.
With your long term goal in mind, it’s time to start mapping out the steps you need to take to reach it. Athletes don’t start out at Olympic caliber – they begin at the lowest level, then work their way up through the ranks. This is all laid out in a plan. They know what tests they need to pass and what milestones they need to hit to reach the top level. In business, these milestones can be promotions, salary increases or performance bonuses, or simply being given more responsibility. All of these indicate that you are moving upwards in your career.

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