Monday, October 03, 2011

Will You Get a Seat in The Boat?

Imagine postponing your own wedding because it was “impractical to fit it in”. That’s just what Dan Ritchie, a member of the GB Rowing Team and world silver medallist, has done in order to train for the London Olympics. He won’t find out until April if he has a seat in the boat, but he is focused on his dream of Olympic success.

Hearing of Dan Ritchie’s commitment made me reflect on the parallels between elite athletes preparing for the Olympics and business planning.

Athletes across the world are entering the final stages of preparation for the games: training hard, working with their teams and coaches and honing their plans. Success in business also requires good planning and execution. Even with the forward thinking and goal setting you did in 2010, it’s possible that some of your dreams are not coming true in 2011.

So what can you do now to give yourself the best chance of success in 2012?

Reviewing the process itself is a great place to start. Does your planning involve enough of the right people?  Do you think enough about external trends and their impact? Maybe your planning needs to be looser, or tighter, or more specific. Are you focused enough on the things that really matter? Are you setting goals that really ignite your own and others’ energy and commitment?

Think about the process you used last time – what could you do to make it more effective, more efficient or more engaging?

A strong process is needed to get your own “seat in the boat”. Good forward thinking and preparation allows you to leverage trends and take advantage of the opportunities that arise, whether business or personal. It may not bring you an Olympic medal but it will give you the best chance of realising your own dreams.  

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