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Executing Strategy – Olympic Style

As I was watching the Olympic men’s triathlon, I became fascinated by the back story of what I was seeing unfold on the screen.

The commentators kept talking about one of the riders in the lead pack whose domestique ended up in the chase group. They pointed out that the one in the chase pack wouldn’t be pulling to the front to lead the group because he actually didn’t want the chasers to catch the leaders. His job was to support his teammate to place. From my uninformed vantage point, I would never have known that.

These Olympians, along with their coaches and probably others I wouldn’t even think of, designed a game plan well in advance of the competition I was watching.

It had to have multiple contingencies. I’m sure they knew exactly what they would do if the domestique had ended up in the lead pack. What if the athlete positioned to win had actually ended up behind his designated support person? I’m sure they knew exactly what they would do in that case also. But had I not been listening to the commentators, I would simply have been marveling at the athleticism and skill of the competitors. I would have been completely oblivious to the strategic plan they were operating from.

I began thinking about the business parallels…

Companies executing their strategies successfully simply operate with a high level of performance. From the outside looking in, you don’t necessarily think, “Oh, look at them executing their strategic priorities.” You just think, “Wow, they’re nailing it.”

Figure out your strategic priorities and execute them well.

That’s the recipe. You know how much work it takes to determine the strategies and plan the execution. Everyone else just knows you rock!

At Milestone, we help leaders worth following make solid decisions today through a filter of the likely consequences of tomorrow. Our strategic planning process allows leaders to define the way forward and guide responses to their organization’s future challenges and opportunities. Milestone Leadership is experienced in helping organizations of all shapes and sizes, corporate and nonprofit, create guiding plans for success.

Written by: Sandy Tush, Partner – Milestone Leadership


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