The Rio 2016 Olympic Games are here, and the opening days of events have me thinking about what we in the business community can learn from the men and women competing on the biggest stage in the world.
There are a lot of lessons we can learn from these athletes’ dedication, passion and perseverance in the face of adversity. While those are lessons we can apply on a personal level, I’d like to shift the focus away from ourselves and toward the people we meet in our careers. These are ways you can go for gold with your business relationships.
Treat Business Cards Like Medals
This might sound overblown on the surface. After all, Olympic medals are something that Team USA athletes spend their whole lives pursuing. They’re only earned by the elite of the elite. You can leave an event mixer with a dozen or more business cards in your pocket so they’re certainly not equivalent, right?
In my opinion, the business card is one of the most important things you can be given in your career, and it deserves to be treated with a similar reverence. Every business card you receive is an invitation to connect and an opportunity to further your career. The name on that card has the potential to be a future coworker, boss or reference.
Ask yourself this question: if I won a medal, how would I treat it? Would I shove it into my pocket, or would I take care not to scratch it? Business cards are your golden ticket to building lasting business relationships; treat them with that same level of care.
Quality Relationships Are a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Part of what makes the Olympic Games so special to me is that they are a culmination of a commitment. You don’t wake up one day and decide you’re going to be an compete for Team USA as an Olympic athlete; it takes years of hard work and dedication to achieve success. In business, we often talk about relationships in the context of networking – how to meet people and make a good impression – but the most important work in building a quality relationship comes after that initial meeting.
The most successful people I know focus on both building and maintaining their professional relationships. They recognize that trust and familiarity are not things that happen overnight, so they put in a sustained and consistent effort to help their relationships grow and flourish. Even small bits of communication – an email with an interesting article or an invitation to grab coffee or drinks – will go a long way in creating quality relationships that will benefit you throughout your career.
Communication is a Team Sport
No matter the sport, communication is paramount to a team’s success in the Olympic Games. I love watching soccer because it’s a chance to see stars who play for clubs around the world come together and gel under their national flag. The best teams have one or more transcendent athletes, but it takes the combined effort of every player on the field to win the gold.
Watching how these teams communicate on the field reminds me of how employees at a successful company communicate in the office. Successful communication passes back and forth between you and your coworkers. No matter how talented one player is, taking a lone-wolf approach will never lead to long-term team success.
Treat conversations with your coworkers and colleagues like soccer ball to be passed back and forth, never dominated by one person.
Ready to Get in the Game?
Whether you’re looking for top talent or you’re looking to join a winning team, Modis can help you achieve your goals. Get in touch with your local Modis branch today and start going for the gold!