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Leadership Lessons from Eliza McCartney

The Olympics, the symbol of ultimate sporting achievement where four years of intense focused training comes down to one race, one throw, one jump in a stadium full of people, on the world stage.  It’s hard to imagine the pressure that athletes feel in the arena on finals day.

That pressure does strange things to us humans.  Even after all the training and preparation, under pressure old fears and limiting beliefs rear their heads.  That inner dialogue turns from supportive coach to harsh critic and nerves and anxiety start the pulse racing.  It can be a downward spiral.

And so how wonderfully refreshing was it to see Eliza McCartney with her amazing joie de vivre shining through in her moment of pressure?  Of all the golden Olympic moments seeing her positivity defying the immense pressure that affects so many others shines as the brightest for me.

I take these 3 key lessons from Eliza:

Enjoying the Moment –In high pressure situations it’s often easier said than done but reframing the pressure to appreciate the fantastic opportunity and moment allows you to become fully present.   Worry and anxiety can be very effective forms of goal setting if you allow them to be.  By taming the mind to enjoy the situation, you can be fully present to harness your A game to achieve your true results.

Laugh at Yourself – Doesn’t it seem that the more important the situation you are in, the less humour you have?  Interviews with Eliza were filled with her laughter, generally directed at herself.  Eliza’s positivity and humour saw her through the games and what a gift laughter is.  With laughter the whole weight of the situation is transformed from crushing pressure to buoyant lightness and is infinitely more manageable.

Being a Beacon for Others – Eliza’s joie de vivre shone like a beacon to those around her.  You can probably recall a situation or meeting you were in that was negative or stagnant and then one person walked into the room and ignited a new positive momentum.  Eliza is this person and her effect was instantaneous even through a television screen. You cannot fail to be inspired, connected and motivated by her wonderful warmth and positivity.  This is a huge asset to any team.

Leadership is more than just leading others, it is also taking the responsibility for leading yourself.  Self-awareness of how you are feeling, acting and reacting and the self-awareness of how you ‘being you’ is impacting others.

We all have gifts of focus, humour and positivity inside us but often in the pressure of daily life or a specific situation we forget to connect with them.  By reframing the pressure to enjoy the opportunity and having the self-awareness to laugh at ourselves we have a greater chance of achieving our goals and inspiring those around us.  Thank you for these wonderful lessons Eliza.

 




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