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Lessons from Sochi: Overcoming Workplace Challenges

Feb 27, 2014 2:04:57 AM

in Creating Your Dream Team 101

Despite the $51 billion price tag of the Sochi Winter Olympics, several competition venues were structurally incomplete in the days running up to the opening ceremonies, and the infamous #SochiProblems that were shared by attendees and journalists raised eyebrows around the world.

While many assumed that the conditions would impede Sochi’s ability to host the international competition, the actual effect on the games was negligible. There are many lessons to be learned from Sochi on overcoming workplace challenges.

Focus on the Job at Hand

Often, athletes need to overcome sub-par working conditions, such as playing football in a polar vortex, or enduring Sochi tap water. Employees have their own plethora of comparable challenges to overcome.

  • Working with equipment from another era: The frustration of working with old hardware or software is exceptionally prevalent now with ever-changing technology. Instead of lamenting the poor quality of what you’ve been supplied with, try to adapt and learn the functionality and capabilities of the tools available.
  • When a team member falls behind on their portion of a project: When one teammate inadvertently jeopardizes the team’s deadline, an engaged colleague will help their struggling comrade troubleshoot and make an effort to bring them back up to pace with the rest of the pack. Making up for a lagging teammate’s work is imperative for team success; a committed colleague will see the value in collaborating to find a solution.
  • Get the job done: Take a cue from the 2014 Olympians; Top performers don’t create reasons to fail, they see obstacles that must be navigated to achieve success. Perspective is often the deciding factor in whether or not one will achieve success, and viewing obstacles as opportunities for advancement is the first step to getting there.

While managers aren't likely to be presenting Olympic medals for employee effort, finding a way to recognize positive attitude and contribution makes a distinct impression. When employees know that their medal-worthy work has a direct and discernible impact on their organization, they take pride in doing the best they can with the resources available.

Of course, it all comes down to having the type of talent on your team that views obstacles as opportunities to succeed, and conditioning them to be an Olympic level team. If you need help finding the kind of talent that will take your company to the podium, talk to us about getting the right people on your team today! 

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