How do you measure success at the Olympics?
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics have begun! We’re cheering on team GB. The question is, how do we determine success?
An article in the Guardian sparked the question, who had the most successful Olympics? The USA, San Marino, and Bermuda all believe they had the best results. How can this be?
“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well”
– Pierre de Coubertin, Founder of the International Olympic Committee
What qualifies as Olympic success?
You can spin a narrative to justify any position using data; it all depends on your definition of success. You might define Olympic success as:
- Total number of medals won (USA)
- Number of gold medals won (also USA)
- Total medals won per capita (San Marino)
- Gold Medals won per capita (Bermuda)
- Medals won per athlete
- Medals won in new fields
- Performance compared to previous Olympics
- Training costs or investment spend per medal won
Ultimately, you need to define what success looks like upfront based on your goals and avoid manipulating data to paint a better picture.
What other lessons can we apply to business improvement from the Olympics?
Ashira Prossack wrote in Forbes, five key takeaways from the Olympics that you can apply to your business and career.
1. Know what you want to achieve and have a plan to reach your goals
2. Be in it for the long haul
3. Celebrate your accomplishments and manage your expectations
4. Setbacks happen, but don’t let them impact your success
5. Be your best at all times
Lessons for business leaders from the Winter Olympics
Rebecca Hind writes in Inc.com about five powerful lessons business leaders can learn from the 2018 PyeongCHang Olympics.
1. Focus on the team, not individual star players
2. Always be on the lookout for ways to boost employee efficiency
3. Focus on diversity and inclusion
4. Celebrate passion
5. Persevere when times get tough
“[Ad Esse] has empowered the teams to take ownership of their own performance in the pursuit of perfection.“
– Chris Bradley, Head of Commercial Development at
East Hampshire District Council
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