February 28, 2010

owning the podium

The controversy that the own the podium initiative in the Olympics apparently stirred up among us Canadians is interesting.  I just read an article that linked the program to being impolite and un-Canadian.
If you don't set a goal, you won't achieve anything.  Owning the Podium was a vision.  If you want to achieve, you must have goals and vision and you have to see yourself succeeding at what it is that you set out to do.  Underselling yourself won't get you there.  Being polite if it means forsaking your vision and your courage won't get you there.  Only a strong belief that you are the best in the world - at whatever it is that you are up to - will get you there.
I say kudos to the Canadian Olympic Committee for the vision that helped our Canadian athletes to win.  And there is a lesson in there for all of us.

February 6, 2010


I heard the robins for the first time this morning.  I gather they do go somewhere for awhile every winter.  Some birds surprise me and hang around for our winters, like the hummingbirds who somehow manage to find enough to keep them going even through the frosty spells.  All winter I have regularly seen one at my rosemary bush, and yesterday my son saw one flitting along the branches of our Douglas-firs.

So the robins are back.  Spring is on its way.  I am glad. Technically speaking the season should have little to do with what I am up to.  For me, though, excitement comes with the spring.  It is far easier to generate enthusiasm and excitement and I am inclined to leap from bed in the morning; a contrast to the dark, slow, sleepy mornings of winter.  I guess someone was thinking about that when they named the season 'spring'.

Being enthusiastic is a great state to be in.  I have watched the impact on the people in my life when I am enthusiastic about something.  Being in that state has the potential to be a contribution to everyone around me, as the energy spills over. And I also know how it is for me, when I am not feeling enthusiastic, to be around someone who is.  It brings my energy level up too.  Sometimes I don't realize the positive impact they were having on me until they aren't around.

Which brings me to thinking about the impact that enthusiastic people have on workplaces.  They bring more energy and productivity to their own work.  And their enthusiasm can spill over, having an impact on each of us. It feels good and it makes our work better.  I suppose that is what Emerson was thinking when he wrote 'Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm'.