What your business can learn from Team USA athletes

Olympic gymnast in air

Shifts in the market landscape. New competitors on the horizon. Ever-changing customer needs.

What do you do when something unpredictable happens in your business?

We spoke with several Team USA athletes about their experiences getting to the Olympics. It was interesting to see that a lot of what matters on the field applies equally to the business world.

In particular, we asked the athletes how important agility was to them, specifically in the face of unpredictable challenges, and heard some intriguing answers. Here are some snippets from the interviews.

Gabby Douglas, gymnast

Gabby talked to us about flexibility.

“It’s a word thrown around a lot when you’re a gymnast, but what it truly means to me is being mentally ready for anything that comes your way,” she said. “Every time I take the floor, I’m extremely focused and I have my game plan ingrained in my head, but you must be prepared for the unexpected and be agile enough to react gracefully.”

Alana Nichols, parakayaker

Alana started her athletic career in snowboarding. When an injury paralyzed her, she didn’t stop. Just two years later, she discovered wheelchair basketball and eventually went on to win a gold medal for the sport at the Beijing games.

In Rio, Alana is competing in parakayak. Her story reminds us that life never stops and we must be agile in actualizing our destiny.

woman kayaking

Jason Pryor, fencer

When we asked Jason what agility means to him, he told us, “Agility is the ability to change directions fluidly…you have to be loose like water.”

Hear more from him in this video:

What does agility mean to you? Have you ever experienced something in your career or life where you had to be agile and change your previously plotted course?

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