|Apolo Anton Ohno (right)|
slips in the 1500-
My heart sank for this young man as a singular, blink-of-an-eye choice led to a mistake that ruined his chances to defend his Olympic title.
But as I contemplated his fate, I couldnít help but wonder if Ohno had spent any time thinking about what he might do if he found himself in second place near the end of the semi-final. It was certainly a possibility, so did he have a plan for what to do if he found himself in that situation?
The point of me sharing this story is about having a comprehensive plan and sticking to it. We donít know about Ohnoís situation, but we certainly know our own. Think about it: Do you have a comprehensive plan? Do you know what to do if youíve been a market leader but suddenly find yourself trailing in second place?
Again, the biggest mistakes in business are usually based in reaction instead of well-thought-out action. Our reflexive actions rarely take into account the intensity of our present strengths and weaknesses, not to mention all the other factors surrounding us.
Let me continue with another, albeit much lower profile, sports analogyómy personal tennis game. Iím not a hot shot player by any means, but I certainly enjoy the game. And like any other player, I enjoy winning. But almost every time I break from my fundamentals Iím likely to create my own trouble.
For example, if I try to take advantage of a weak shot by my opponent, such as slamming the ball back on a weak serve, it usually ends up costing me. Instead, if I just play my game and play it well, my opponent will usually make enough mistakes on his own so I end up winning the set.
Again, the moral here is that itís dangerous to improvise without weighing the risks. Just because a competitor makes a move that looks like youíll be left behind, stick to you what you know works, at least for the short term. Your proven formula for success will always be your best bet until youíve considered the ripple-effects of your alternatives.
It could be that Ohno is wishing heíd done that in Italy.
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