It’s my favorite time of all times – the Olympics are here! The stories of the athletes that are displaying their talents; the competition that is both physical and mental; and the opportunity to learn more about how we are motivated. I am looking forward to the opening ceremonies (they will have happened by the time you read this), and the anticipation on the faces of the competitors. I refuse to let these two weeks be infused with the politics of the world, or of the Games, and allow myself to believe we are all one, and united in our human efforts.
As I watch the faces parade in the stadium Friday night, I will be watching for those who are there to perform, and those who are there to experience. And in that difference will be their results. Athletes that feel the weight of the viewership – the millions of people watching on TV plus the thousands in the arena – will allow that weight to slow them down. They will try to perform. Those athletes who soak in the moments – who live and breathe the excitement and enthusiasm of their sport, of their talents and skills – will allow that experience to elevate them, and world records will be created. Personal bests will be the result. Incredulous interviews of “I don’t know, I just focused on this race” will be given.
The same is true in law firms. When leaders set out to perform, they neglect the experience. And when they set out to experience, their authenticity motivates, inspires, and champions change. As you consider how you show up in that client meeting – are you performing or experiencing? What about that Shareholder meeting or staff meeting? Shifting your awareness internally – to where you know you have something to contribute and have prepared well for this event – that’s experiencing the event, the entirety of it, not the moment that is yours. Use your breath, pause and reflect afterward to honor your abilities and learn for the next time, and celebrate the victories. Celebrate just as these Olympians will be doing.