Monday, August 2, 2010

Stay on top of the game

The Swiss Victor Röthlin won marathon gold on Swiss national day. His career seemed finished after a series of health problems, but he completely dominated the field of 65 men who competed in the 20th European Championships Marathon. This got me thinking about what it really takes to be a winner in business.

As I watched him run I realized that I, like so many others, had no clue of the training regimen required to compete at this level. Most people cannot imagine what it is like to train for a single race. Athletes at that level make it look easy. Sure, without talent they would never have made it that far. But talent alone is not enough. To be successful at anything, whether sport or business, requires a combination of talent, skill, and desire.

True success in business leads to high incomes, a flexible lifestyle, and the attainment of goals that most people only dream of. If you look around you, top business professionals make it look easy. But we can’t imagine the effort that top performers put into training. But top performers do. To be great in business we must invest in ourselves– mind, body, and spirit. We must train like an athlete. We must stay on top of our game.

How does this relate to Airport Operation? I’ve overheard operations managers describe the consistent high performance of top airports as “magical.” They can’t imagine the effort that top performers put into continuous improvement. They don’t understand that success in always paid for in advance. World class airport professionals listen and learn constantly. They strive for improvement potentials in their business constantly. The average and poor performers don’t have time to listen or to look for new answers, think that this is a waste of time. Or, they have more important issues to resolve right now. Some are only open for change when they are in trouble.

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