OK, we’ll admit it – we’ve loved watching the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics. It’s filled with competition, new levels of athletic excellence, and inspiration.
With so many world-class athletes coming head-to-head, it seems that what often allowed the champions of each event rise to the podium was their ability to realize their full potential in the face of high-stakes competition. Time and again, commentators used the word “nerves” to explain what happened. For example, “nerves about being on Olympic ice,” “nerves competing after someone has received record-breaking scores for their performance,” etc.
So even when you have world-class levels of talent and finely-honed skill, it turns out that a real differentiator for top performance is, to a large extent, your ability to be comfortable being uncomfortable. This makes the difference between having huge potential and being able to live up to it.
Going beyond sports, all of us in business experience this need to live up to our full potential when the stakes are high and we’re reaching for game-changing results. Beyond talent and expertise, the secret to achieving your organization’s full potential is leading yourself and others to become comfortable being uncomfortable under extreme pressure.
One way to do this is to draw on your previous track record of success as a reminder that you’ve been able to deal with unknown and high-stakes situations before. This builds confidence that you can rise to the occasion under present conditions as well.
For an inspirational example of a visionary CEO of a successful company who has been leading himself and his organization to become comfortable with being uncomfortable when the stakes are high, listen to a recent Growth Igniters® Radio conversation we had with Simon Nynens, CEO of award-winning Wayside Technology Group — Episode 120: Create More Game-Changing Opportunities: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone!