Monday, March 1, 2010

Swifter, Higher, Stronger

"Citius, Altius, Fortius" is the motto of the Olympics, suggested by founder of the modern Olympics, Baron de Coubertin. The English translation of the motto is the title of this post, a reflection on the just-concluded Winter Olympics.

Athletes who participate in the Olympics surely have these words in their mind. For many of them, the journey for the chance of 47 seconds of glory has taken years of dedication and practice. Along the way, they have endured pain, inconvenience, and trials, along with the positive feelings of a sense of accomplishment and knowledge that they represent the ultimate pinnacle of performance in their chosen sport.

But if that is all it is, what follows after those 47 seconds of glory? What does a speed skater do after he can no longer participate in the sport at the level required for Olympic participation? What does it take to go beyond the highest point in your physical development?


In Latin, the word "clarius" represents intelligence and clarity of mind. If an athlete frames his physical gifts with clarity, then his Olympic endeavors are a beginning, not an end.

As leaders, we have to have the same mindset. Most leaders spend their lives driving decisions, directing resources, and deploying leaders without the vantage point of substantial clarity (Mancini).

It's one thing to aspire to Olympic greatness by dedicating your formative years to achieving the pinnacle of success in your sport. It's another to step up on the podium, receiving recognition for being the best. What's next?

Those with clarity know.

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