The Olympics have done great things for British pride.

London put on a great show and the world watched.

It was truly awe-inspiring

50+ million people in the UK watched the opening and closing ceremony on TV.

But what inspired me most was the dedication and pursuit of being Remarkable that each and every athlete strives for.

Some achieve it.

Bolt, Farah, Hoy, Ainslie, Ennis.

Some fall short by inches and seconds.

But all of the athletes put their heart and soul into trying to achieve something truly Remarkable.

They train to be Remarkable at their discipline, not mediocre!!

In business we can learn a lot from athletics.

It seems to me that the ambition that pervades every sinew and muscle of an Olympian is a rare thing in most businesses.

Far from being motivated to break down the barriers and achieve something outstanding, most businesses seem happy to tread water.

Why is the culture of British business so anti-remarkable?

Why do so many companies prefer to hide at the back of the field rather than be the front-runner?

Fear of failure, apathy, lack of ambition, lack of funding…

Surely these are just hurdles to be overcome and not mountains that can’t be moved.

If the legacy of the Olympics can do anything for British business, it’s to act as a kick up the backside to every CEO, Entrepreneur and Marketing leader to stop settling for second best.

  1. Take the initiative in your category or sector.
  2. Inspire your teams to be more competitive.
  3. Set new goals and strive to achieve personal bests.
  4. Create a brand that’s aspirational and raises the bar.
  5. Find new ways of doing things.

Dick Fosbury, in the 1968 Mexico Olympics won the Olympic Gold by doing something that the New York Times referred to as ‘the flop that flabbergasted’. Until that point the straddle technique was the conventional way to do the high jump event. After Mexico it became the Fosbury Flop.

Being an Olympian requires a huge amount of effort, focus, dedication, hunger and talent.

There is nothing ‘instant’ about being an Olympian.

While the glory and success might be fashioned on the big stage, it’s earned on the training fields, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

To be a Remarkable business you need the same unwaivering dedication and commitment.

Greatness doesn’t just happen, it needs to be earned