What can we learn from our Paralympics?

I wonder if like me you have been taken over by the Paralympics in Rio. By ‘taken over’ I mean inspired, humbled, invigorated, uplifted. It is summed for me by a quote from Ibrahim Hamato the Egyptian table tennis player who plays by holding the bat in his mouth and is famous on You Tube for his mystifying serve. He says “Disability is not in arms and legs but in persevering in what you want to do”.

The skill, commitment and enthusiasm of all the Paralympics’ athletes, in whatever sport, is awe inspiring and this started me thinking about what we could learn from these Olympians and how we could transfer the lessons learnt to the people in our organisations. I have picked out just two of the many lessons we could learn from. Perseverance and Commitment. It is all too easy for managers to give up and point the finger of blame at others during times of stress in their organisation. This can be as a result of factors like poor performance or failing to make change happen. The lesson is for managers to take full responsibility for and be focussed on delivering results through a relentless focus on achieving the agreed outcomes. Set backs and changes caused by external factors are tackled head on with the support of their team.

You may well be saying we do this already. But do you? Do your managers take ‘full responsibility’, have a ‘relentless focus’ and tackle set backs ‘head on’? Do they have the level of perseverance and commitment as shown by our Paralympians? I urge you to look at these stars in action and see what perseverance and commitment really mean.

Tony Williams, author and one of Ark People & Communities team of specialist consultants, has wide experience of strategic and organisational development (with a focus on people), HR and people strategies, change management, transformation, cultural integration, learning and development and training, all gained at executive director or director level in the UK in both the public and social housing sectors.

To find out more about Tony and other members of our team visit http://www.arkcommunities.co.uk/our-team or to find out how Ark People & Communities can support your organisation email jturley@arkconsultancy.co.uk.