7 Principles Businesses Can Learn From the Olympics

Summer is always filled with fun, but 2016 is extra special because it’s an Olympic year. The 2016 Rio Olympics will be held from August 5th - August 21st, so get ready to be amazed by some of the greatest athletes in the world.

Managing the Olympic games is a massive undertaking, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) works tirelessly to make the process appear seamless. As a company leader, pay close attention to this flawless execution, as it can definitely teach you a few valuable lessons. While you’re waiting for the games to start, use these seven principles displayed by Olympians to reflect on your company and the way you do business.

  1. Proper Planning is a Must

Each Olympic period, major cities across the world vie for the chance to host the games. This candidature process actually starts 10 years before the event, with the host city election taking place seven years prior, giving the winner ample planning time. Similarly, allowing adequate time to complete projects and initiatives in the business world is also a must, as it takes a lot of planning and energy to produce quality output.

  1. Teamwork is Everything

The Olympics has many team sports — basketball, beach volleyball, rowing, etc. — and each person has to be completely on point for the group to succeed. The same is true in business, as it only takes one slacker not willing to put forth any effort to slow production down for the entire team.

  1. Hard Work Comes With Amazing Rewards

Olympians often train for four to eight years before ever being selected to participate in the games. These athletes typically follow an intensive training schedule that impacts every aspect of their life — including their diet and ability to socialize — but it’s all worth it when they walk away an Olympic champion. Likewise, running a successful business takes an immense amount of hard work and discipline, but nothing compares to being at the top of your industry.

  1. If You Don’t Play by the Rules, You Will Get Caught

Once a legendary athlete, Lance Armstrong admitted to using performance enhancing drugs for most of his career, and in 2013 the IOC ultimately forced him to return the bronze medal he won at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Taking shortcuts might get you there faster, but if your company cheats, you’ll eventually be discovered, causing you to forever lose the trust of your customers, employees and shareholders forever.

  1. Choose a Focus and Stick to It

It’s much better to be remarkable at one thing, than just okay in a variety of areas. Olympic athletes are typically laser-focused on one sport and that’s it — with the exception of a few incredibly gifted competitors. Instead of spreading themselves too thin by participating in many sports, they become the best by spending their time perfecting their skills in one.

  1. Don’t Give Up When the Going Gets Rough

Training to be on the Olympic team is immensely hard. When athletes endure setbacks, they learn from their mistakes, pick themselves up and move on, because quitting isn’t an option. Those who give up when things get hard never achieve their dreams. Keep this in mind next time everything seems to go wrong at your company and you’re ready to throw in the towel.

  1. Always Display Good Sportsmanship

In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Usain Bolt set record marks in both the 100 meter and 200 meter dash, winning the gold medal in both races.  During the finals of the 100 meter race, Bolt famously turned around to taunt his fellow competitors and help “make it close.” In business, you’re always going to have some pretty amazing competitors, but being anything less than supportive of your peers always makes you look bad, causing customers to steer clear of your brand.

These business lessons can help your company stay on track and be positioned for the best company growth. These principals can also be applied to your recruiting and staffing efforts. A clearly defined and executed recruiting strategy will help you attract, hire and retain the best talent in the industry.

If you are looking for recruiting assistance, consider partnering with Sparks Group. We can help to fill your company’s open positions with most talented, hardworking professionals in the Washington, DC/Baltimore Metropolitan Area. Our comprehensive and flexible staffing solutions have resulted in a consistent track record of client satisfaction. Contact us to learn more about our recruiting services in Washington, DC and beyond.

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