Three Traits for Excellence

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Have you ever wondered what type of commitment it takes to become an Olympic athlete? Being the best athlete has never been something to which I aspired, but being the best I can be as an employer and team member is something for which I do strive. Olympic athletes share three common traits. These same traits can be applied to all facets of life, including career advancement.

Plan–Athletes create a plan of where they want to be not just in one year but also up to several years in advance. How far in advance are you planning for your career's future? You can never start planning too far in advance, so create the plan and work it. You may have to adjust along the way, but if you know where you want to end up, you can work the plan and get there.

Seek Assistance–Olympic athletes typically have more than one coach helping them, including trainers for their mental, physical, and nutritional health. Maximizing mind, body, and soul can improve overall results, and at the Olympics, the difference between gold, silver, bronze, or no medal at all can be a fraction of a second or a single point. So, how many people do you look to for guidance? Consider joining a mentorship program, or look to others in your industry for help.

Visualize–If you see it, you can achieve it. While this statement is so true for all we do, it is imperative for Olympians to see their dreams come true to make them a reality. They visualize every step of their event with a positive outcome at the end. How much do you visualize the outcome of your meetings, events, and/or job in general?

It's not just that most Olympians are born with a certain set of physiological gifts, although that's a big part of it. It's also their commitment to their sports and, perhaps most important, the way they train. As employees and employers, we can apply the same level of commitment to our work. In doing so, each of us has the opportunity to break our own records. Good luck!

KasieSWritten by: Kasie Smith is West Michigan Woman magazine's publisher. She is a Michigan native. She was born in Traverse City, and now lives in Grand Rapids. She enjoys golfing, spending time in the sun, and watching romantic comedies with her very own leading men, her husband Jason and her twin boys. Photo: Margan Zajdowicz

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