OLYMPIC LEVEL STAMINA: IT’S WHAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE

I am working at the London 2012 Olympic Games as a senior consultant for iLUKA, one of the world’s leading Olympic marketing agencies.  The following post contains observations of working life at the Olympics as it relates to the highs and lows we all experience in our careers.

Day 11 at the London 2012 Games and stamina is the trait that is making the difference.  With five days to go before the team will cross the finish line and put to bed yet another Olympic Games, we can all relate to what it takes to make that final push in any work setting.

The people (thousands) who work in myriad capacities behind the scenes at the Games are tired.  British natives are buoyed by the phenomenal medals haul by Team GB, but seriously starting to flag. There are tired faces and a few people getting sick but all are valiantly carrying on.

What is stamina all about?  Are you born with it, do you manufacture it – what makes a person able to dig deep and produce it?

We watch Olympic athletes summon unbelievable amounts of stamina when we know they have got to be exhausted.  Similarly, I am intrigued by how some people can call up energy reserves in their working life when it seems they cannot have anything left in the tank.  And my observation is that one of the greatest triggers has to be motivation.

For athletes it is that “go for gold” inspiration and of course gold works in our careers too!  But more than that, I think people find the personal motivation they need.

If I pull apart what makes me – at the age of 62 – do what I do, I think it is about a sense of satisfaction about making a contribution.  Making a difference to the business development of my clients or the career advancement of an individual is what motivates me and keeps me in the field of endeavour.

And perhaps because of this, I have always been blessed with a healthy dose of stamina.  Since working at an Olympic Games can seriously test my level of stamina, I need to add strong discipline around sleep, eating properly and most importantly, keeping perspective.  Remembering that there is life beyond the current ritual:  wake early, dress and put on the many plastic accreditations and access passes that are needed to get through the day, brief and debrief, meet clients and take them to events, go to bed late.  Next day: repeat!

Keeping perspective for me is about making sure I Skype with my husband as often as possible, drop an email to a friend, get some fresh air somewhere!

The people who get themselves into trouble and lose the ability to call up stamina are those who let go of shore and bob around without an anchor in a sea of work!

In my next blog, I will look at the concept of winners and losers – and how it is not always clear which is which!

If you aspire to this level of achievement and performance in your career but you need some help developing the skills and qualities to get there, contact me at linda@oglov.com<em “mso-bidi-font-style:=”” normal”=””>. I will return your email promptly – on August 15!