I wonder if like me you have been spellbound by the Olympics 2012? I can be a bit curmudgeonly about these things, you know the sort of stuff… the pre-Games hype, the British media catastrophising about congestion, poor security etc, the antics of Blonde Boris rousing us all to new heights of national fervour… and all that.
The reality has been truly astounding and as a bit of a sportsperson myself, I can appreciate the highs and lows of expectations achieved, and dashed. But what has held me spellbound – apart from the massive achievements of some amazing competitors – has been our own Mo Farrah who won worthy gold medals in the men’s 10,000m and 5,000m.
It made me think back to a tongue in cheek quote from the great American writer Gore Vidal who died in early August. He famously said, “It’s not enough to succeed, friends need to fail!”, by which he might mean that the darker side to success, ie the pain of disappointment experienced by your rivals, can somehow add to our own sense of achievement. Believe me, I’ve been there!
However watching Mo run both races with a clear eye out for his training buddy, the US runner Galen Rupp, was a sight for sore eyes in a cynical world. Watching them giving each other encouragement – even in the heat and stress of extreme human effort – was a compelling sight and should serve to remind us all that the route to excellence and ‘medals’ need not be ‘littered by the corpses of our rivals’.
So how does this link back to your own career development? It just reminded me about an article I read recently from Forbes on about how envy can seriously impede your career. And here I take a direct quote from the article “We operate in a dog-eat-dog world of copy-cats and a race to the finish line.”
What Mo Farrah demonstrates in his collegiate and modest way is that the route to the top or to the finish line is about being yourself, finding what you excel in and focusing on adding the most value to yourself and those around you. Mo, after winning his second gold said “When you have a vision and you have a dream, you dig in more… it’s been long journey… but you know, anything is possible… it’s just hard work and grafting”.
Part of the hard graft is not just about acquiring those all important technical skills and abilities, whether in the sporting arena or in getting to more senior roles, it’s also about self-knowledge and self-appreciation.
It’s also about adding some great soft skills such as coaching techniques, communication and the ability to build strong and dependable camaraderie… especially when the going gets tough toward the finishing line.
So if like Mo Farrah, you want to get your MOJO on and start to effortlessly excel here are some simple questions for you:
- Have you undertaken a psychometric assessment and have you a good understanding of your personality, and your behavioral preferences?
- Do you know what motivates you, and what motivates the individuals within your team?
- Did you know that better understanding your motivational map is a great route to improving your own performance, and in motivating others?
- Are you aware of the kinds of activities and roles that bring out the best in you?
And finally, do you know what it’s really like to have your mojo on? If you don’t, then you have something delightful to look forward to… with a bit of planning and hard graft.
Let me know how you get on.
In the meantime, here’s the Forbes article, a really good read.
And here’s an article about my modest route to equestrian success.
Enjoy the rest of the summer!
 African American slang for self-confidence, self-esteem (and dare I say it), sex appeal.