Taking a Leap of Faith
“Bringing out the Champion Within to enable you to reach your Ultimate Goals!”
I recently spoke to a group of corporate leaders regarding getting their teams to reach their ultimate goals by finding the champion within. I was in Park City, Utah, against the backdrop of 2002 Olympic Park, which is still in pristine condition and currently being used as one of the top winter Olympic training centers for TEAM USA.
It Takes a Leap of Faith
I chose to talk about the ski jump as a metaphor for really taking that leap of faith – from either the 90 meter (270 ft.) or 120 meter (360 ft.) ski jump platforms. Oh, by the way, when you get up to the jump-off point, you’re at about 7,130 feet altitude. In the explosion I was injured in I was blown over a two story building flying over 300 feet through the air onto a concrete parking lot, but I didn’t have a choice! Ha! Just looking down from the top of the platform of this Ski Jump as it seems like a straight leap off a very tall building. It can immediately give a non-jumper an overwhelming sense of terror to jump off that platform that’s almost straight down with no room for error.
I used this scenario while I spoke about the importance of being strategic in your preparations. I told the audience about my longtime friend Senator Bob Dole, who was one of members of the 10th mountain division in WWII, also known as “soldiers on skis.” They had to ski through the Italian Alps in all types of conditions, sometimes at night because it was the 10th division’s mission to crack the Nazi’s last line of defense in Italy. Bob Dole, a young lieutenant, caught machine gun fire in his right shoulder and almost died. He went through seven operations and almost died during some of those operations, but he preserved and became one of the most prominent political leaders of the 2nd half of the 20th century. He ran for President in 1996 and is still actively working at his law firm to this day, as the political liaison and advisor to the firm. He’ll turn 91 on July 22, 2014.
No Place for Fear
I spoke about the frame of mind you and your team have to adopt, and about how to transform every member into champions who are always willing to take that giant jump and not be afraid to fail. There’s no time for fear of failure whether you’re going for the Gold, or you’re on a mission to break through the last Nazi line of defense in WWII! You have to stay focused on your vision and put all your energy and effort into the goals you’re trying to achieve. You must focus and practice hitting that jump perfectly every time or on completing mission objectives along the way. This can only happen when the right equipment, mindset and lots of training are applied to the task. The 10th division got this as they trekked toward the Nazi position across the Italian Alps. Olympic Ski jumpers get this after hours of practice and mental visualizations. You have to visualize getting the job done to perfection time after time.
Whether it’s the Winter Olympics, Summer Olympics, Paralympics or a Theater of War, we want to achieve the best possible results. As my audience understood, achieving these objectives is the same in business. Every organization must be able to keep employees motivated and focused on their mission. My goal in working with organizations is always to foster the winning qualities within every individual, so they can rise above their challenges and be the best they can be.
Keep Going for the GOLD! Never Give Up!
Kevin Saunders is a World Champion Paralympian, motivational speaker, athlete (with multiple gold medals) and author. Kevin Saunders was the first person with a disability appointed to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness Sports (only 20 people are selected for this nationwide) by the President of the United States. Kevin Saunders was first chosen to be appointed to the prestigious Council by President George H.W. Bush and was the only person reappointed by to this Council by President Bill Clinton and he was reappointed again by President George W. Bush as a constituent expert to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports. Learn more about Kevin’s story and accomplishments.
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