Tell me you did not just overflow with pride as the world watched Olympian Shawn White dance with excitement as he stood on top of the halfpipe in Vancouver this week. He learned he won gold before he’d even taken his final run.
Live coverage allowed the world to be up close and intimate with the processes and decisions that were being made between Shawn and his coaches. Why had they come to Vancouver? To win gold for the second time, right? Or was it about performance and delivering the best product? “Once you’re at the top of the pipe,” he said, “everything changes.” Quickly the decision was made that the gold medal level-winning run that he’d delivered earlier simply was not enough, “I always felt like I wanted to put everything on the table. That’s what that last run was about: showing everyone in the world on this big stage what I could do.” Despite all the emotion of the moment, his values and the values of the team drove them to the simple conclusion: Go for it, put down the move, and stick the landing.
I see patterns here that show up in how other good leaders conduct themselves daily. Expecting exceptional performance and celebrating achievements are very important, but Just Ask Leaders look beyond the current situation for the questions that will push themselves and others to the next level, discovering new challenges that will elevate them and their teams to a higher sense of accomplishment.
Shawn rose to the new challenge. He soared into the pipe, generated adrenaline with his first four moves, and then nailed the Double McTwist 1260, with big air, full rotation, and a clean landing. Saucy! Later, Shawn said: “”I could have just run straight down the middle of the pipe, which would have been cool. I took the other route.”
As a leader, how often do you consider the “other route?”
Consider including the Double McTwist 1260 in your leadership model.