Reflections this week

Olympics “2020”

The 2020 Olympics have finished, over a year late.  Many people felt strongly that they should have been cancelled because of the Covid pandemic.  Although there was an eerie lack of physical spectators, the world still watched (albeit remotely).

And what an awesome Olympics for NZ (or should I say Aotearoa NZ?)!

Seven gold medals, six silver, and seven bronze. We ranked 13th in the world, despite our tiny population.  The number of NZ women winning Olympic medals this year was noteworthy also.

Interestingly, of the 11,000 athletes competing almost 49% were women – the highest number of any Olympic games.

All the athletes had the challenge of training during the Covid pandemic.  They had to maintain fitness and training regimes (and enthusiasm) after the games were delayed and rescheduled, and amid ongoing uncertainty about whether they would be held.

For NZ athletes juggling work and family commitments, as well as their grueling training regimes, this uncertainty was extremely challenging.

But man, they’re good!  I’m proud of what these talented and committed Kiwis have achieved. But at what cost?

High Performance and Mental Health

Mental health challenges are hard to spot and understand.  The sudden death of Olivia Podmore this week, a young and extremely talented athlete who was “happy”, was a shock to all who knew her.

It was a tragic welcome home to our accomplished athletes returning victoriously to NZ from Tokyo.

Elite sportspeople cannot achieve performance dominance without sacrifice and pushing their extreme limits.  Some athletes handle that better than others.

That is true of the general population as well.  Few of us have not been affected by a sudden death within our own kith and kin.  It hurts, the loss never goes away. There is always regret that we didn’t spot the signs, that we weren’t able to help.

Hiding our ”Truth”

Society (especially in the era of social media and the obsession with being “perfect” and “successful”) encourages us to megaphone our triumphs, whilst hiding our weaknesses, challenges, and vulnerabilities.

But it is our vulnerabilities and the sharing of our truth that makes us human, that creates a real connection and a bond.  It’s a strength, not a weakness.

Bullies and psychopaths are driven by deep insecurities, unable to admit to vulnerabilities or weaknesses.  They criticize and blame, trying to make themselves look better to others.

“Spin” and Politics

Politicians are adept at “the blame game”.

Monday night was the coldest so far this winter and many in the North Island were without power.

National pointed the finger at the Labour government.  The Labour government pointed the finger at Trans Power, Genesis, and the power companies.  Trans Power pointed the finger straight back again.

A review will be held to investigate what went wrong and why.  It doesn’t really matter who or what caused the black out, it’s about how to fix it so it doesn’t happen again.

Lessons for Business

Bad stuff sometimes happens.  Front up.  Own it.  Ask for help from those who care (team, customers, suppliers, community, your tribe).

Fixing it will earn respect and credibility. Be part of the solution and avoid the blame game.

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