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Winning the Gold Medal

I love the Olympics. I am fascinated by curling (although like most of you I can’t quite figure out the rules). I love the thrill of the downhill, the luge, the speed skating, hockey, and the snowboarding events. And I am especially enthralled when I watch the Olympic athletes visibly get clear on winning.

Did you notice Lindsey Vonn at the top of the slope? Eyes closed, arms moving, legs bending as if she were already traveling down the slope in just the manner necessary to win? She was using a practice known as “success visioning.” She was imagining the course, every twist, every turn… and how she would successfully meet the challenge of it and win the race. Olympic athletes have used success visioning for decades; since the time Roger Bannister broke the world record for running the mile in less than 4 minutes in 1954.

Premier athletes the world over know the power of getting clear on winning BEFORE they get in the race. They imagine it. They get clear on what it looks like, what it feels like, and what they must do. And it works because your brain is amazingly powerful. Once you are clear on winning, your body will follow. In many ways, it can’t not follow. Your brain does not know you can’t run faster, ski quicker, make higher jumps – it only knows what you tell it and your body steps up to deliver.

Winning also requires practice. Winning for an athlete means he/she is in top condition. It is likely they have practiced their race thousands of times. They are eating the right foods, taking care of themselves, and making progress almost every day towards their goal. Lindsey did not just sit around for a year, jump up, and ski her race. She got clear on goals, met them, and then set new ones. She spent her time and energy towards achieving them. She stopped doing things that got in the way. She stayed focused.

Are you clear on winning in your business? Do you know what it looks like at the end of 2010 when you have been insanely successful? What are the key operating achievements you will have accomplished; what will your company culture be including in regards to the attitudes, beliefs, values, and operating principles; what skills/knowledge/abilities will exist in your organization; what organizational structures will be in place; what work processes and metrics will be used; what tools, systems and technology are necessary; what products will be in market (existing and new); what products will be in development; who will the customers be; who will the competitors be/what types of companies will you compete against; what will the brand represent?

Get clear on winning, your body will follow.

Is it obvious to you and everyone on your team and in your company what it will take to win a gold medal? If not, what race are you running?

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