Published 20th August 2012
London 2012 was about more than sporting achievement.
What a fantastic two weeks the Olympics were, witnessing people being successful because of talent and hard work rather than celebrity. It's incredible to think that even though we had never heard of many of them, the athletes generated intense feelings of admiration.
When Mo Farah won his amazing double gold on the track he put it down to hard work and dedication. It was the same story across the board as we heard passionate athletes explain how their success was down to years and years of dedication.
Although London 2012 was truly inspiring, it's important to remember that we are surrounded by local business people who demonstrate the same characteristics as our Olympians. For example, tenacity, positivity, perseverance and energy are characteristics highlighted in the recent Insider feature on Jimmy Milne of Aberdeen's successful Balmoral Group http://bit.ly/S4eBnc . And finding inspiration doesn't just come from the top. Look closely within your local community or your workplace and you'll probably find that there's plenty to be inspired about. Maybe it's fantastic team work or just sheer hard work or perhaps there's someone who, like gold medal rower Katherine Grainger MBE, just refuses to give up.
Think back and remember school teachers, instructors, colleagues, bosses or mentors who sparked, or continue to spark, your enthusiasm. Is there room in your career now to become a coach or mentor to others?
The great thing about achievement in business is that it isn't ageist. Young and old achieve and we are lucky enough to meet more than our fair share in our line of work and our involvement with the Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) and Entrepreneurial Exchange.
Could we afford the Olympics? Well, perhaps we should ask, could we afford to do the Olympics any other way than with excellence? And of course the answer is no, reputation, pride, effectiveness and delivering first class service was the only way to go - just like in business.
Some of the real stars of the event were the volunteers and deservedly they got the biggest applause on the closing ceremony - a celebration for common sense, team work, commitment and helpfulness!
The Olympics also reminded us that participation is the most important thing. That it's important to put yourself out of your comfort zone and push yourself to the limit - how else do you know what you can really achieve? That nothing is easily achieved without sheer hard work and determination. If we adopted this approach to our working lives, would it change our career paths?
Will it be hard to change how we think or behave now the Olympics are over? Probably, so thank goodness that the Paralympics are just about to inspire us all over again.