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Finding the Winning Combination

Despite the controversy leading up to it, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics really was an event to remember – and for all the right reasons so far as Team GB were concerned.

It’s hard not to be inspired by the stories of success of our medal winners, and following the games, it’s hoped that an interest in sports will be sparked across the country, paving the way for the next generation of medal contenders.

But what factors contribute to the winning combination, and what lessons can replicated across into the business world?

Having a winning team

One thing that is common amongst the winners of medals from all sports is the support network they have around them. No single person can reach the pinnacle of their sporting ability without the right people around them – from their parents who took them to training throughout their younger years to the coaches, dieticians and other professionals that work to get them in tip top shape ready for competition. It really is a team effort.

This is so often the case in a business too. When a business has staff members in the right roles and performing well, a business can run smoothly and has every opportunity to thrive. A word of warning though – the pandemic has resulted in large resource gaps in many industries and there has been a well-documented difficulty in filling roles in some sectors. If you have good staff, be sure to do what you can to keep them happy to avoid them being lured away to another job.

Set goals

When asked in interviews, many athletes will say they came to win. Throughout their careers, it’s likely that they will have set goals along the way; from winning local titles at first to going on to bigger and better things as their careers progress. Self-belief can be such a key part of success; without it, finding the motivation to train every day and follow the lifestyle required to be a sports professional would be near-on impossible.

Setting goals and staying focused in a business capacity is often cited by successful business owners. Having a vision of where you want to get to, often with a number of checkpoints along the way, allows you something to work towards and to measure yourself against. The importance of regular review shouldn’t be underestimated – as these help you to identify potential threats and areas of improvement. For example, at the moment, supply chains are being impacted by human resource shortages. Businesses that rely heavily on being able to access raw materials, ingredients etc should ensure they have suitable contingency plans in place to deal with any issues that may arise.

Be prepared

Winning is great but the flipside is that at some point, there will be occasions where you fail to reach your potential. As well as stories of success at the Olympics, there were stories of heartbreak, with injuries and lack of competitive preparation hampering the success of athletes. Having the mental resilience to deal with such challenges is key to success over the long-term as there will always be ups and downs to encounter.

Similarly in business, being able to deal with challenges can determine how a business is able to operate under pressure – and ultimately, if they can come through the other side. This is all too familiar to many business following the Covid pandemic. Although none us could have seen that coming, having the tools in your armoury to be able to respond and where necessary adapt can be fundamentally important. It’s also worth pointing out that when things are going well, this is likely to be the result of a significant amount of preparation! There is rarely such thing as an overnight or accidental success. It takes years of putting in the groundwork – building the foundations and making key decisions when they matter.


Agenda’s business consultants work with organisations to help them find the winning formula. For more information about how we can help, or for a free initial consultation, please get in touch.

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