Stay Standing When Others Fall

Have you ever used the expression “doing a Bradbury”? I love how that moved into the Australian vernacular after the 2002 Winter Olympics when Steven Bradbury became the first Australian to win Gold at a Winter Olympics. Recently, I was recalling that event to my children with a laugh, but if you look at what led to that point in history it is very interesting.

Bradbury is a four-time Olympian, competing in the relay team event in 1994 to win bronze and achieve another first — the first Winter Olympics medal for Australia ever! The way the team succeeded was similar to Bradbury’s famous 2002 win. They made a tactical decision to ensure they avoided a fall. This potentially cost them silver, but it guaranteed them bronze.

Their reasoning was justified. At the previous Winter Olympics, they were favourites following their win at the World Championships, yet crashed and fell during the semi-finals, ending their chances of any Olympic medal. Subsequently, they revisited their goals and determined that a plan to stay on their feet was the top priority.

In business, we are constantly taking risks to succeed. Success is all about being aware of those risks. We don’t stop because there are risks; we decide which ones are the showstoppers, and then decide how best to manage them.

In your business, is your strategy to “go for gold”? If it is, then you might consider what tactics you need to “stay on your feet”.