The Olympic Games have always entranced me with the huge variety of athletic events and incredible athletes. I have been enjoying watching the competitions in the summer games in Tokyo (rowing! 3×3 basketball! swimming! gymnastics! canoeing! volleyball! track & field! bicycling! water polo! skateboarding! surfing!). What enables these athletes to be the best in the world? How do their achievements translate to how court leaders can be excellent, too?
Fundamentally, each athlete has discovered and nurtured their strengths. Everything else flows from this basis. Court administrators should do the same – build on your strengths. Here are other factors I think have been essential for the athletic success of the Olympians:
- Doing what you do for the intrinsic joy of the effort and satisfaction of a job well done (enjoy the moment).
- A laser-like commitment and focus on growth and excellence (doing your best).
- Setting goals that achieve a vision of success.
- Flexibility and adaptability to changed circumstances.
- Persistence in the face of adversity, but with the integrity to know when “enough is enough.”
- Practicing self-care of physical and mental health.
- Celebrating success (which may be simply recognition that you have done the best can do).
Each of these factors contribute to athletic success. It is apparent to me that each factor also applies to us as court leaders:
- We have a commitment to the Rule of Law and public service which gives us intrinsic motivation and sense of achievement.
- We strive for continuous improvement and doing our best.
- We use strategic planning to create a vision of the future, with interim goals that keep us on the path to success.
- We have learned to better implement new procedures, technology, etc. in workplaces large and small in the face of the ongoing pandemic.
- We exemplify the adage of “court administration is not for the short-winded” by not wavering from our goals when faced with challenges.
- We have embraced wellness for ourselves and fellow workers, practicing mindfulness and emotionally-intelligent actions.
- We recognize the achievements of those in our profession via many national and local awards, citation of exemplary actions and projects, etc. More importantly, we are free with praise for jobs well done, giving timely personal recognition.
I hope that you are also enjoying the Olympics while rooting for your favorite teams and athletes. Take the time to reflect on what the athletes are doing and how you can be an Olympian in your life, too!
As always, comments are welcome.