For Those Who Want to Win

Michael Phelps is the greatest swimmer in the history of the world! He competed in the Olympics 5 times from 2000 to 2016 and won 28 Olympic medals, including 23 gold medals.

His exceptional talent, chiseled physique, and internal strength and durability enabled him to become the most decorated Olympic athlete ever. Yet for all of the physical tools Phelps possessed, the one thing that cannot be overlooked was his work ethic. Phelps spent countless days and nights in the pool, working on his stroke and pushing himself to become better. This was for many reasons but was in large part because he knew that he could not maintain the status quo and continue winning.

This is evident based on the unique way swimmers have improved over the past 2 decades. Specifically, in the Summer Olympics from 2004 to 2016, Phelps competed in the 200-meter individual medley. In this race, swimmers must cover the four swimming strokes in the following order: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle.

In each Olympics, Phelps won gold in the event. As impressive as that was, Phelps’ Olympic Record time in the 2004 Olympics wouldn’t have even gotten him a medal in the 2008, 2012, or 2016 Games.1 Further, the gap between the first and last place swimmers from 2008 to 2016 decreased in each Olympics. The only reason Phelps was able to continually rise above the competition to claim victory was that he was willing to push himself to improve.

The same concept is true in business. For those who want to win, you must push beyond what you have done in the past and find ways to improve. There is no disclaimer, no alternative, and no excuse. The entire world is transforming before our very eyes, and if you do not get on board, you will be left behind.

This can be difficult to accept for many reasons but is often connected to the challenges businesses encounter when attempting to make a change. Rather than putting forth efforts to improve, companies rationalize how it is acceptable to remain the same. You cannot have this mentality and expect to win.

The revolution of change is occurring in every industry and market in the world. This requires you to abandon your steadfast ways of doing business for more progressive approaches. Though this causes concern for many, the alternative is much worse. If you do not adjust the way you run your operation, you will not be in business for long.

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