With the Winter Olympics next month in South Korea I thought it appropriate to dust off an Olympic-related message from a previous venue. I love the Olympics. It provides lesson after lesson that can be related to life and its competitive nature.
During the Nagano Winter Olympics a few years ago, I analyzed the contestant’s finishing times in the women’s downhill ski race. My research resulted in what came to be known as my Rule of 1.6%.
Time and time again this rule has been validated in many athletic contests. Golf, NASCAR, horse racing, speed skating, and many other competitive sports.
In my skiing example, the woman’s downhill time differential from first place to tenth place was less than 1.6%. This was for a race that took a 1-minute and 40 seconds from start to finish.
Think about that. A race down a mountain that takes less than 2-minutes has a 1.6% differential between first place (Gold) and tenth place (who was that skier?) I have more evidence.
Let’s shift our attention to the skating rink. Shani Davis missed his opportunity to win his third Gold Medal in as many Olympics by an eye-blink. He missed by .73 seconds. I said, Point … Seven …Three. He skated all 1000 meters and finished less than one second behind the Gold Medal Winner. Shani Davis came in eighth. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th,….. 8th. (Incredible!) I could go on.
Message: It does not take much to distance yourself from the competition in the Olympics … or in your business. If you are coaching an Olympic athlete, you continually look for the little advantages that can spell the difference. You can’t ever overlook the tiny details. They all will (and can) make a difference. In some instances, a huge difference.
If you are coaching business entrepreneurs you teach your students to look for those very same small differences that will make a huge impact on the final results.
Accept my challenge. Find the many ways that you too can become just a little faster, a little better, a little more valuable to your client. Honestly, it doesn’t take much.
Next month, bag the Perry Mason reruns and tune into the Olympics. Look beyond the commentator’s banter and look for the lessons that will accompany each event.
An interesting question. When your athlete (mostly USA or Canada) wins the Gold Medal and they play your country’s National Anthem at the medal ceremony, will you “stand up” in your living room? Think about it. I’m just asking.