Many will remember the opening ceremony ‘Ring Malfunction’ at the Sochi Winter Games, but I wonder how many people will remember the closing ceremony ‘Ring Malfunction’? Here’s a picture from the closing ceremony from Sochi where effectively, the Russian’s had the last laugh. It was clever how they planned a second ring malfunction for the world to see:
Here’s a leadership lesson I was reminded of as I saw this image from Sochi 2014:
1) A strong leader is able to take a mistake and turn it into a positive. The organizers at Sochi certainly brought smiles on the faces of people around the world as they leveraged a mistake and turned it into laughter.
2) A strong leader is able to laugh at themselves first. When a leader can laugh at themselves and see their quirks and nuances (that others see), it allows followers to relax and laugh with them. The journey of leadership can be challenging so it’s important a leader does not take themselves too seriously…
3) A strong leader will not cover up a mistake, but rather own it. What was interesting about the opening ceremony was the way that Russian media ‘covered up’ the mistake by using video footage from the rehearsals when the fifth ring failed. Many around the world criticized them for this ‘cover up’ at the time. However, it was refreshing to see a turn around in tactics as they faced their mistake and brought light to it in the closing ceremony.
4) A strong leader is more concerned about results than they are about critics. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are certain people we should always listen to and value the opinions of. However, as a leader, you and I will always come up against critics who do not fully understand the big picture of what we are trying to achieve. It is in these times we should be focused on the outcome of our efforts, rather than the influence of short-sighted critics. Sadly, even my world of church leadership, I have come across critics who have impacted myself and other leaders. At these times it imperative that a leader is able to stay focused on the big picture and end result while also listening to the influence of trusted leaders around them…
What was your favorite Winter Olympics memory? What are your thoughts on how the organizers turned around their Olympic ring failure?