Going for Gold

While thinking about the Olympic Games that should have been, I started to think about what it is that makes a winning team. Can we apply these same principles to our teams at work? The answer is yes!

Around the world there are thousands of elite athletes, with preparations in disarray in the quest to perform their best and win gold. This is why they have spent the so many years training. Obviously not all of them will receive the coveted gold medal when the time comes, but what is it that separates these winning athletes from the rest of the field. Over the years, the following qualities have stood out:

Motivation – Any successful team needs to be motivated. People are motivated for a variety of reasons, be it fame, fortune or personal accomplishment, and this motivation can come from many sources, including coaches, role model and  family. The list is endless, but once you have established what it is that motivates you and your team half the battle has been won.

Desire – To be successful, you have to want it. We all know people who are naturally talented but don’t succeed. They just don’t have that desire to win or to be the best. I am reminded of the words of Confucius “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential – these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence”.

Teamwork – A successful team requires teamwork. You need all your cogs working well together on the common goal. We all remember the women’s Olympic rowing team when one team member was unable to continue. It didn’t matter how good the other team members were, they were unsuccessful because they were unable to work as a team. Even in individual events, there is always a “behind the scenes” team working to support the success of the person on stage.

Natural talent – There is always an element of natural talent with any successful outcome. Unfortunately, just wanting it isn’t always enough. You have to put the right people in the right jobs. Some people are more gifted than others in certain areas, so placing them in the right position will help you to succeed. Find out what they are naturally talented with, work with this and grow their talent.

Hard work and never giving up – Success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of planning, preparation and resilience. For these athletes it has meant years of training and never giving up. Over the last few years, Sally Pearson has battled multiple injuries, ones that could have caused many others to give up. Sally’s choice to continue has rewarded her with another gold at these games

Success doesn’t have to mean winning a gold medal, it can be described as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” What actions will you take to make sure that your team is successful?

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

Picture of Lisa Twyford

Lisa Twyford

At the start of my career, I learned quickly that many organisations were full of good intentions, but all too often lacking the skills and know-how to execute effectively. That’s why I founded clear decisions™ over 12 years ago. My vision was simple, I had a desire to help businesses and their people move through change projects with great success.


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