LJ 2008-09-24 23:38:00
The truth, well it’s for students of philosophy
And faith is for losers like us
At our Business Review today, we had a guest speaker, and as far as I could make out, it seemed to be positioned in the “motivational speaker” class. Only, actually, it really was motivational, and inspirational, and all those other things that event organisers so often aspire to and so rarely manage to get right.
The speaker was Ed Coode, Olympic Gold Medallist for Rowing (Coxless Fours) at Athens 2004. In terms of the basics, he was very articulate, and seemed really bright and engaging.. He had the sort of science type knowledge that you always kind of hope that athletes have, but don’t often get to hear about.. He seemed entirely comfortable talking about anaerobic respiration, oxygen uptake, and all those other fun topics from Year 13 Biology classes.. Somebody who can casually drop phrases like “oxygen debt” into sentences automatically commands a little more respect from me, ultimately because I place a lot of value on people who know stuff that I know. Terribly self-centred, I’m sure…
Anyway, he basically told us his story, from the Sydney Olympics to Athens, interspersed with footage from the race itself. It actually worked kind of like a Lost flashback, and he tells a very engaging story.. So engrossing was it that by the end of the story, when you actually watch Team GB win the race, you just want to punch a Canadian out of sheer joy at having won.. No offence, Canucks :o)
The story itself, if I might convert it into business themes, was one of adapting to change, staying optimistic through tough times, setting stretch goals, working together as a team, continuous improvement through performance monitoring, etc.. It’s actually surprising how many of the themes really translated well to business, and it’s certainly left me feeling generally more motivated regarding my work, out of a desire to do great things..
The other side of it, of course, is that it leaves me only more fired up for the 2012 Olympics in London. I’m planning to attend as a spectator at the very least, but there may well be opportunities to volunteer to help out through work (since we’re one of the official sponsors), which would be fantastic.. I’m not sure whether it’s enthusiasm for sports, or the spirit of the Olympics, or some form of (uncharacteristic) patriotism, but whatever the feeling actually is, it manifests itself as real excitement about the games, and the idea of participating in that in my own small way.