London 2012
Are you inspiring a generation?

I followed with awe the events of the London 2012 Olympic and the Paralympic Games. Those of us who were lucky enough to go along to watch an Olympic event will have experienced something verging on ‘magical’. From my viewpoint, every generation has been inspired.

We can learn much from what has been achieved through London 2012

.I observed a number of keys that made it all possible, keys we would do well to use when looking at our own strategies for people development:
  • The first key is to have a clear vision. The vision for London 2012 was clear in the minds of all involved; realistic, achievable targets were set and continually monitored, for both the athletes and the Olympic organisers. The focus was clearly on the vision, and as interim goals were met they served to sustain and encourage those involved and inspire them to reach the next, higher goal. The leadership of London 2012 were committed to the vision too; even when there were issues, Lord Coe spoke with unwavering belief in the vision. His faith was rewarded.
  • the second key is to have the right support. The contribution of teamwork was clear. Many can achieve what one alone cannot. Every athlete had a team behind them to enable them to attain their ultimate goal. Team GB did very well in terms of medals this year; some athletes attribute their success in part to the support of the home crowd.
  • the third key is focus. The look of determination on the face of each athlete spoke about their commitment to and focus on their objective. Focusing on the goal inspires us to work hard and ensure that we prioritise appropriately. Not every athlete achieved their goal of a gold medal this time, but if disappointment is correctly channelled it will contribute to future success.
  • the fourth key is long-term development. You can't win a gold medal by training for a week before the event. Hard work and commitment from each athlete and their support team are needed for many years before the Olympics. The Olympic Park and all its facilities took years to build and equip. Anything worthwhile is worth investing time in.
So what does it mean to 'inspire a generation'? I think it means to encourage those for whom we are responsible in the workplace to be the best that they can be, enabling them to achieve their full potential. As leaders we must help our staff to use the right keys to unlock their potential, set achievable goals and achieve their ambitions.

Information is available about the legacy left by the games.

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