Monday, February 17th, 2014
YOU ARE ON THE ICE ALL OF THE TIME
I have been watching the Olympics. The event that gets to me is the solo ice-skating events. It is the very definition of accountability. The lone skater carries it all in that moment. Everything he or she does counts right then and there. It can go from grace to disgrace in a nano-second. An unwanted result often undeserved. The ice can be bad, the coach can be lousy, the culture and atmosphere foreign. So what? It’s a no excuses moment.
But the skater does come off the ice. You can see them fold or exalt the moment the music stops. Their performance persona drops. They can hide.
They can relax in-between events. The on-stage events are short compared to the off the stage time.
Not so for you dear top exec. You are on the ice with the spotlights on most of the time. It is an odd blind spot to mention, but don’t get inured to this reality.
You have to do what the lone skater does only more so:
Keep the vision of success in your mind
Stay calm under exceeding pressure
Pick yourself up fast after a mistake and proceed immediately
Maintain dignity and grace
Smile in public defeat
Get right back to preparing
Stay in the game
Only you are on the ice much much longer than the skater with many fewer moments to hide or prepare or regroup. So remember that spotlight and that music. Behind them is an audience watching you closely and judging too.