With the 2015 World Athletics Championships underway in Beijing, this event marks the 15th World Championship in Athletics. This is also the largest sporting event to take place in China since the 2008 Summer Olympics.
While the event has already seen some of the big names take gold, in Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill, there is a range of goals and objectives set and this article is designed to give you an insight of a step-by-step guide that businesses should take whilst preparing their business to achieve gold on the big stage.
Source: Image from CNN News broadcast
Preparation is key for the athletes as they want to shine on the big stage. They would have been training months before their event, making sure that their nutrition and training is pushing them to excel. This applies to businesses as well, without training how can a business improve? Athletes that push themselves to succeed are the ones that achieve gold. When it comes to businesses, if your business doesn’t have targets and don’t push it to greatness, how will they achieve gold?
Step 1 – Knowing what you want to achieve (Setting the targets and goals)
Getting from A to B – Knowing where you want to get to and what you want to achieve is the key to any business success you are going to have. But aside from knowing your goal destination, you need to have a thorough understanding of where you currently stand. Athletes competing in the World Championship have an understanding of what is required of them. Everyone has history and past performances. A sprinter might know that if they are going to win this event, they are going to have to set a new personal best. They might look to achieve this by working on any aspects of their performance they can speed up. For example, they may try getting off the starting blocks a millisecond quicker. This is the same with your business. What processes or steps can you put in place to help you work more efficiently and speed up your performance?
Step 2 – Evaluating the targets and goals
Every athlete is going to be looking at their goals and targets, while the obvious connection might be to say their aim is the gold medal, sometimes you need to delve deeper. A youngster that is new to the scene might set their ultimate goal to become World Champion, but at this particular event it could be that they are aiming to finish inside the top 6 or top 4. This is important to understand as in the business world we could say we want to be the market leader in our sector. But the targets and goals need to be realistic and achievable; otherwise you are literally demotivating yourself when you don’t achieve those targets and setting your business up to fail. The key here is to set both short and long term goals, much like the athletes competing on this global stage.
Step 3 – Figuring out how you are going to achieve it
Athletes develop a bond with their trainers, they put their faith and trust in these people to work together to achieve their targets and goals. Businesses go through the same process, whether we are talking about the staff a company employs, the business systems put in place to help achieve these goals or the suppliers that help deliver the products and services that help us compete. One thing is for sure, if you are going to get to the global stage you need the right tools to get the job done. Using an outdated accounting system or using suppliers that fail to deliver are hindrances a successful business simply cannot afford to have.
Step 4 – Preparing mentally for Outside Influences
While the world of athletics is not new to allegations of doping scandals, it does appear this time round it is having an even bigger impact on the name and perception of athletics on the whole. Perhaps one such individual to look at is Usain Bolt. He has recently been quoted as saying ‘All I’ve been hearing is just doping, doping, doping … it’s sad’, ‘I’m at my best. I’m in great form, I’m happy with where I’m at’(The Guardian). In the business world we are constantly subjected to being knocked by either a competitor outside the organisation but also threats from within like poor motivation and difficult staff members. The key here really is to believe in what you are doing. If everyone from the top down has that belief that we are all pulling towards a unified goal, success will follow.
Step 5 – Executing and achieving gold
Whether we are talking about icons such as Usain Bolt or up and coming prospects with the finish line in sight, everyone has to understand what level they are at and the level they want to reach one day. For some it might be an honour to go up against the current world champions and just knowing all their hard work has paid off to get this far. For others the gold is in sight, if it is this time round or not, who can say? But all we do know is that these athletes are pushing their bodies to the limits to get to where they want to be. Are we doing the same for our business?
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