Yesterday while watching an interview with Ryan Held, member of the U.S. Men’s freestyle relay team who helped lead his team to a Gold Medal victory in the 4 X 100-meter freestyle relay, something stood out to me. First of all, he was very proud of his small-town roots and gave a shout out to his hometown: “Hey Springfield! 217!”
What really impressed me was the fact that throughout the interview he continued to redirect the attention away from himself and back onto the support that he received from his community and his team. He noted that veteran swimmer Michael Phelps served as a mentor and described him as”…a great leader and a great athlete. He kind of gives…a sense of confidence to other swimmers so when I’m around him, I feel a little bit stronger, I stand a little bit taller, I feel a little more confident.”
In business, this is how we want employees to feel when working with leadership. Since it is unlikely that we will be able to convince our AMT crew to do morning laps together at the city pool, let’s examine what makes a good leader and helps develop a quality team:
According to Held, after the emotional awards ceremony, Phelps said to him “This is your time. Take it all in. Be happy.” No matter what role we are in, those are some very wise words to live by. Make it your time, take it in, and be happy. Life is too short to do otherwise.