From reading a veritable smorgasbord of articles, tweets, social media posts and blogs, it appears I am not alone in feeling somewhat bereft in this new Olympics-free existence I find myself in. As someone who tends to watch the England football team lose on penalties as their main spectator sport, I was surprised at how much I, like most others, caught a heavy dose of Olympic fever. I am hoping this explains my decision to pay the equivalent of the Greek national debt for tickets to the Paralympics Closing ceremony, anyway.
I have also read many blogs and the like making the link with organisational performance; some profound and some fairly tenuous (along the lines of “let’s use the Olympics analogy to raise this idea up the organisational flagpole and see which of us salute it whilst humming the company anthem. . . ”). Sort of thing.
The Paralympics, however, took this to a new level and one that shoehorned its way into my consciousness as particularly resonating with my work in and philosophy of individual and team development in organisations. Time and again, watching (the soon to become National Treasure) Clare Balding and others commenting on the superb performances of our Paralympic athletes, I was struck by one idea that could have been taken from the Positive Psychology Handbook of Strengths-based Development, if it actually existed. (Note to self; write one). This oft-repeated assertion went something like this: “technology has enabled many Paralympic athletes to focus purely on what they can do, not what they can’t”.
This is Strengths-based development in glorious red, white and blue Technicolor (other countries are available; Legal Ed). Focus on what you love and are already good at, on what really resonates with your sense of who you are and what you want, and do it as well and as widely as you can. It’s more fun, motivational and empowering than focusing on your development needs. It works, too, and it’s authentic.
Find what aspects of your job, or life, you are fabulous at and, erm, be more fabulous. And if you enjoy it, it ceases to feel like work.