5 Olympic Failures That Create Great Careers Lessons


here is nothing more inspiring than watching the Olympic athletes achieve their goals. Slushing, sledding and skating their way into athletic history, they are an inspiration to all of us.

But what we often don’t stop to consider are those who fail, stumble and crash in their quest. Sometimes they are able to overcome, but sometimes they are not. It is those athletes who may also provide lessons to the rest of us when we strive to reach the winner’s podium in our own careers.

So let’s consider some not-so-common inspirational stories of Olympic athletes and what they can teach us.

1. Eric Moussambani Malonga: A swimmer from Equatorial Guinea, he competed in the 100-meter freestyle swim competition in the 2000 Sydney games. He swam alone as both his opponents were disqualified for false starts. Having only learned to swim eight months earlier and practicing only in a lake, he could barely keep his head above water. But he managed to finish the race and set a new Equatoguinean national record. He became a national hero.

Lesson learned: Opportunities can come along when you least expect them, but learn to conquer your inner doubts and finish what you start.

2. John Stephen Akhwari: The marathon runner from Tanzania fell at the 19 kilometer point during the 42 kilometer race in the 1968 Mexico City games when other runners were jockeying for position. Despite dislocating his knee and injuring his shoulder, he continued to run and finished last. Completing the race in a nearly empty stadium after sunset, he said, “My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; they sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race.”

Lesson learned:  No job is done in a vacuum, so remember that others depend on you to follow through on your commitments.

3. Dorando Pietri: In the 1908 Olympic games in London, the marathon began in the middle of a hot afternoon. As Pietri picked up his pace, fatigue and dehydration hit him with only 2 kilometers go. When he entered the stadium, he was disoriented and headed in the wrong direction. Umpires pointed out his mistake and helped him up when he fell a handful of times. He managed to finish first, but was later disqualified for the assistance he received. Still, Queen Alexandra was so impressed with his efforts she gave him a gilded silver cup. He became an international celebrity.

Lesson learned:  Never look at failure as the end of the road. It could be that your efforts will impress others more than the outcome.

4. Voula Papachristou: The Greek triple jumper was kicked off her team for the 2012 games in London after comments she made on Twitter were deemed racist. She claimed her tweet was a joke. But as USA Today noted, “This would have been the first Olympic Games for Papachristou. Instead she’ll be remembered for making history the wrong way.”

Lesson learned:  Don’t destroy your professional reputation with careless and thoughtless online behavior.

5. Greg Louganis: At the 1988 Seoul games, Louganis banged his head on the diving board while attempting a two-and-one-half pike and suffered a concussion. While he went on to win two gold medals, Louganis faced a bigger challenge when he revealed that he was HIV positive. Most of his corporate sponsors dropped him. Louganis has gone on to have success outside of swimming and was one of the first inductees to the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.

Lesson learned:  Even with great success will come great challenges. But as long as you remain resilient, you will thrive in your career.

– See more at: http://quickbase.intuit.com/blog/2014/02/13/5-olympic-failures-that-inspire-valuable-career-lessons/#sthash.WgVBrlwe.dpuf

Source: Smart Brief

Author:  “5 Olympic Failures That Inspire Valuable Career Lessons”

Link: http://quickbase.intuit.com/blog/2014/02/13/5-olympic-failures-that-inspire-valuable-career-lessons/


Are You Clicking On Or Creating Your Future?

An interesting observation about the “employment industry” is that the least talked about type of employment is self-employment. There is endless media coverage on high unemployment rates, the slowly recovering economy, and lack of viable employment, but almost zero TV coverage on the recent rise of self-employment since economic recession.

While the recession caused massive layoffs, it also freed individuals to finally pursue their passion. Some people were just sick and tired of applying for job, after job, after job with little to show after hours of submitting applications. They simple channeled that frustration and desperation into good, old-fashioned American ingenuity. Some people just stopped clicking apply and started creating! People finally had more time on their hands and more space in their mind to think about how they could truly make a difference in their communities, or for some, the world.

This effect according to study done at University of Missouri is known as “Necessity Entrepreneurship.” I find this type entrepreneurial spirit absolutely inspiring because it shows the resiliency, character, and creativity we have as humans. It may seem intimidating or overwhelming at first, but if you really are tired of clicking on “apply here” than tap into your other skills and talents to work for yourself!

Job Creation

As the Founder & CEO of an online staffing company it may seem contradictory to be promoting self-employment, but almost all entrepreneurs worked for someone at some point in their life. Prior to starting my own company I had worked for and learned from others since I was about 15 years old. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today if it were not for the education, training, and communication skills I received from all of the places I had worked. One experience builds on another; it’s all part of the journey.

I see so many individuals who have been out of work for over 12 months. It could be sign to start a new path on your career journey! There is a bit of a myth about self-employment, that you have to be the most educated, tech savvy, or financially stable. However, given the rise of self-employment in the harshest economic climate since the Great Depression it’s safe to say that ANYONE has the ability to triumph over circumstance and CREATE their own destiny! What are you waiting for?

Are We Killing Potential?

I recently spoke at Keiser University-Fort Lauderdale campus on “Understanding Soft Skills” and “How to Sell Your Soft Skills.” The university provided PowerPoint slides that they recommended I teach from, which I did.  However, I also incorporated real world scenarios and feedback that I hear from hiring managers as to why candidates are not getting the job.

The students at Keiser were a bit apprehensive at first.  No one wanted to answer questions or volunteer to role play. As the lecture went on there many things on the PowerPoint slide I didn’t agree with. One slide highlighted the old theory of “do not discuss salary.” I openly expressed to the students why I disagreed with this antiquated taboo, and why I always discuss salary up front with any candidate that I am interviewing.

Discussing salary becomes a matter of respecting the candidate’s time. At the root of it people work to get PAID, bottom line.  I could see every eye and ear perk up once I made my statement. I then disagreed with another slide point about patiently waiting for more than 30 minutes for hiring managers to conduct interview. Again, it becomes a matter of respecting the candidates time. I explained to the class that their time is just as valuable and that the interviewing process is a two way street. Candidates should also be interviewing potential employer!

Hire Me

As the lecture went on the students were far more willing to ask questions and participate in role plays. One great question a student asked was “how do I gain medical industry experience if employers won’t give me a chance?” I recommended volunteering at medical centers or a hospital.

She then made a face as though she’s heard that before. Her rebuttal was “why should I just volunteer if I paid for an education and have all required certifications?” I was proud of her for pushing back. All I could tell her was good point.

Later on that night I thought about all the obstacles candidates are faced with in today’s market. I contemplated more on why that young lady couldn’t find employment after doing all the necessary steps.  New grads are energetic and the most un-obligated, but yet they have the most obstacles to entering the workforce.  I can’t help but wonder, as a society are we killing their potential?

Job Seeker 101: How Important Is Attitude?

These days there is an abundance of technical information on the internet about how to find a job, conduct yourself during an interview, write a resume, network, dress etiquette, etc. However, there is not much information about mental preparation or attitude.

In 2003 the average length of time for a job seeker to find employment was 0 to 3 months. Today that has increased to 12 months or more!  I hear extreme frustration and desperation as I interview candidates and listen to friends who are seeking employment. Many candidates are feeling more and more defeated in today’s job market, especially with the current unemployment rates are averaging a little over 7% nationwide.

Maintaining a positive attitude has become harder and far more critical to a job seekers success.  Everything starts with a positive attitude, even before dressing professionally, writing a resume, preparing for an interview, or even accepting a job.

Your attitude is like a price tag, it shows how valuable you are

I recall the audio book on Yes! Attitude by Jeffrey Gitomer where he explains that attitude is not taught. Unfortunately there are no programs or classes that teach positive attitude.  To learn about attitude one must research through books, tapes, and seminars. Positive thoughts and actions have to be part of one’s daily practice.  You may be thinking, “my attitude is fine” or “it is not that important” but according to Jeffrey Gitomer, “Attitude is EVERYTHING and the foundation for success.”

Still don’t believe that your attitude can make or break you?  As a professional recruiter and hiring manger I can tell you I am 95% more likely to hire the person who is 75% a good fit for a job and has a positive attitude versus the person who is 100% a good fit for the job but has a negative attitude. Attitude makes that much of a difference!