Give it All You’ve Got: What Business Can Learn from Shaun White

Whether or not you’re a fan of snowboarding, Shaun White’s recent Olympic performance was spectacular.

It’s not just that White won the gold medal, far outpacing his fellow snowboarders. It’s how he went about winning. As the top ranked competitor, White was the last person to ride, meaning he had the advantage of seeing everyone else’s run. He  delivered a great first run that no one else could top. Therefore, he went into his second run knowing he’d already won the gold medal.

It would have been easy to kick back and just do a simple routine on what was essentially a victory lap. Instead, White chose to take it to the max, giving it all he had with a difficult routine, including the double MacTwist maneuver he invented himself and had not yet shown the world.

Good enough wasn’t good enough. White chose to up the bar and go above and beyond. Because White is probably the best snowboarder in the world, he doesn’t get much competition. To stay sharp, he finds ways to drive himself to new levels of performance–even building his own private halfpipe where he can develop new tricks and techniques in private.

Business would be well advised to pay attention here. How many times do we stop at good enough–when we’ve beaten the competition, won the business–instead of giving it all we’ve got? How often do we settle for good enough instead of going for the best we can possibly be? What have we done to set the bar higher,  for ourselves as well as our competitors?

Time to go above and beyond. Invent a double MacTwist of your own. Or maybe even a triple….

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