This was the answer the Yorkshire Post Sports editor gave to the BBC journalists question, why have such a large proportion of Team GB medals been won by Yorkshire athletes? This viewpoint seemed to be backed up by many medalists interviewed on TV over the past few weeks. There are no short cuts to success emerged as a strong and reoccurring theme. Natural talent obviously plays an important role in winning; however, it can also dangerously lead to complacency. Putting in the hours and making sacrifices to get what you want out of life seems to be a sound piece of advice. My experience is that ambitious individuals, who chase big goals, make choices not sacrifices, this may seem like a play on words but the former is a more positive way of viewing the world. Thinking that you are giving something up can lead to negative consequences. However, delaying gratification for a bigger purpose can be extremely motivating. This fusion of graft, mindset and talent wrapped up in personal discipline all contribute to the Success Factor.
A great piece over the weekend by BBC presenter Matthew Syed (sportsman and author of a great book, Bounce) explored how the way you think is just as important as training. The short programme looked at the mindset of success and interviewed a number of iconic Olympians. They told their story of how they developed a ruthless fitness routine in parallel with a programme of getting themselves in the right mental state when it came to competition. The difference between winning and losing often lies in the mind, this was a really powerful statement made by one of the contributors. What sat at the heart of this short documentary was the power of self belief – if you don’t believe you can, then your probably right.
Words of wisdom were provided by Sir Steve Redgrave – don’t try and control the things you have no power to control, focus on what you can control. In other words the ability to control your own performance is all that matters – that means fitness, training programme, health and diet and the way you think. Yourself is the only thing you can truly control. Once you have mastery over yourself, then the winning can begin. We can apply this thinking in enterprise – the biggest difference in the world of business is, there are no medals for coming second. You either win or lose an order.
As we say in our office BYC – Believe you Can. Not a bad way of starting any competition, whether that be sporting or business, pretty much the same.