The Olympics are always fascinating for me. I’m stunned by the focus and sacrifice of these athletes who deny themselves a large portion of “normal” life to be able to excel in their specialty. But not only do they have to be among the very best, they have to be at their personal best at the crucial time. These contests are often decided by hundredths of a second or by the subjective score of a judge who may not be impartial or having a good day.
The credo about “it’s how you play the game” is belied, of course, by official medal counts and national anthems played for the winner of each event. It’s competitive to the point of cheating and doping scandals. And while it’s become a great stage for the Koreans to suggest some ephemeral unification potential, it’s hard for me to reconcile that with a country that sends security personnel to ensure its athletes don’t defect (and imprisons their families if they do manage it). How many American (or any country’s) security personnel are present to ensure our athletes don’t defect?
I think we should accept this respite from world tensions for what it is: A frisson of respect and good behavior created by (usually) healthy competition. (See the quote below.) It’s a positive contribution, for which we can still thank the ancient Greeks (and why I think all Olympics should be held in Greece, internationally funded).
I don’t mean to be cynical, but I’m also a realist. As legendary basketball coach Adolph Rupp was heard to say, “If winning isn’t the point, why does anyone bother to keep score?”
Two old men. Enemies who spoke different languages and couldn’t even agree on a way to prevent the world from blowing up. Yet there they were, embracing like brothers on world television at the simple act of a man jumping over a bar. —Sports producer Roone Arledge on the most important thing he ever broadcast: Khruschev and Averil Harriman (American diplomat, negotiator of the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty) celebrating Valery Brumel’s record high jump in 1963
Major New High Value Experiences
Super Global Best Practices, London and Adelaide: I’ve gathered the best practices of entrepreneurs, boutique firm owners, solo practitioners, academicians, and authors to create a vibrant day of improved performance that will immediately increase your business results and decrease your labor intensity. I’m guessing people will be rushing out during breaks to change proposals, alter online work, and create new initiatives. AND the first five to register in the UK and Australia will be my guests for dinner!
Self-Esteem Growth: I’ve been asked to conduct this for a fourth time, this one in Washington, DC (perhaps there will be cherry blossoms). This isn’t remedial, but rather a limited-attendance, intense examination of how to improve confidence and self-worth continually, to fully realize your potential.
The Teleconference on Religion: No conversions expected, this is a friendly discourse on the origins, nature, and influence (or non-influence) of religion in today’s world. I’ll share some of my personal journey, and prompt you to consider some issues no matter what your beliefs. All proceeds will go to a local homeless shelter.
Threescore and More the Book: You can purchase this pre-publication, and gain bonuses ranging from free admission to the teleconference above to personal coaching, and even a free workshop seat in May. If you’re over 50, or plan to be over 50 at some point, you must read this book about power and influence as you age.
The Million Dollar Consulting® Convention: In Boston in April this year, with luminaries such as Suzanne Bates, Chip Bell, and Dorie Clark on the main stage, as well as 12 great concurrent sessions, networking reception—and me! We already have 125 people from all over the world, register while we still have room.