Words of wisdom from an Olympic Great…
I was fortunate enough to meet so Sir Chris Hoy at the entrepreneurs Convention on Friday. When you meet a sporting icon it is not always easy to think of the right thing to say or the right question to ask. Yes the obvious thing is to congratulate Sir Chris on an amazing sporting career; but now he has moved his attention to the business world, getting some words of wisdom as to how to translate the Gold medal winning sporting mind-set to entrepreneurialism is hugely valuable.
Sir Chris spoke of how as a 6 year old boy he watched the film E.T. and became inspired to begin his fledgling cycling career. At the age of 16, Chris and his fellow cycling club members were asked what their cycling ambitions were. Sir Chris was the only member of his cycle club to state that his ambition was to win a gold medal at the Olympics Games. Despite sniggering and laughter from his peers, Sir Chris was encouraged to follow these goals and with his coach developed a step-by-step training program to allow him to achieve what many would perceive as the impossible.
It is a common failing in business that entrepreneurs and business owners will set ambitious goals and targets, but become stuck by the weight of the ambition and never take the first crucial step towards attaining the goal.
On countless mornings during Sir Chris Hoy’s glittering career, He woke to find his body in agony from the punishing training schedule of the previous days, yet by just focusing on the ride to the track and the first training session he was able to reach the next steppingstone in a long line leading towards his ultimate goal. The parallels with business world are obvious… Although we have ambitious goals and targets for our businesses unless we take the first step towards reaching those goals they will never be achieved.
He also spoke of the British Cycling Team’s mentality spearheaded by David Brailsford, that “the aggregation of Marginal Gains” could make the British Team all-conquering. Identifying and implementing tiny improvements in all aspects of the team preparation, training and equipment, resulted in fractions of a second being gained in many areas and therefore making the difference between winning Gold or not.
We are looking at all aspects of our business to see where improvements can be made…often the potential gains are not marginal but are massive; we are improving processes and constantly reviewing our IT systems to find where we can increase productivity, reduce duplication and improve the flow of data throughout the organisation.
What an honour to meet a true Olympic great who is now taking the his sporting values and applying it to business in a hugely successful way with his new range of bikes. Best of luck to him is the phrase…but is it really luck?