By now you have probably seen the McKayla Maroney meme has that gone viral. Poking fun at McKayla’s apparent “sore loser” stance when her vault fell short - she literally fell, not sticking her landing. This cost her the Gold medal, and instead received the Silver. Still, not too shabby for Olympic standards. Apparently, not so with McKayla. On the awards podium, instead of putting on a brave face, McKayla instead openly displayed the scowl seen around the world.
I have no doubt that McKayla was probably just upset at herself, and probably beating herself up for a “poor” performance. Nevertheless, it is her sullen facial expression that may become a part of her Olympic legacy that she didn’t mean to leave.
The Olympic games brings the world’s best athletes together under one venue to compete, showcase and bring honor and glory to their countries. Good sportsmanship is evident, for example, when the German team won the Gold in the Men’s Double Canoe spring, and brought their canoe side-to-side with Silver medalists from Belarus, hugs and accolades abounding with each other. Or when South African sprinter, Oscar Pistorius, a double-amputee with prosthetic limbs, finished last, but was given kudos by fellow sprinter, Grenada’s Kirani James, when James traded his name tag bib with Pistorius’ – a classy sign of respect and honor among athletes.
Sure, there are other athletes in games past who have shown ingracious attitudes for not medaling or getting the gold, but the spirit of the Olympics should about good sportsmanship and support of one another as the best of the best. The spirit of winning should always be juxtaposed with the right spirit of losing.
Sometimes, it is not about winning, but how you play the game.
Playing well also applies in the world of business.
Business has many elements similar to the run for the Olympics: talent, hard work, sacrifice, the right industry, gains and losses.
Building and running a successful business, whether you have a one-woman (or man) show, have a small staff or run a huge organization with departments, having the right attitude and spirit will help you prevail, especially when you experience moments that are less than stellar. Though we all strive for success in our ventures, there are times when being second-best or getting beat out by the competition will happen – and we must be prepared for it.
As a publicist, it is my job to get placement for my clients. Whether local or national, getting press for my clients is the end-goal. Sometimes I get in, sometimes, I don’t. It is part of the process. Anyone or any business that touts a 100% success rate is either manipulating its ROI, lying or delusional. Even Apple does not get it right all of the time.
The Olympic spirit is about giving the best and being the best. Business owners ought to have the Olympic mind-frame: being the best in their industry and being able to win (or sometimes lose) with integrity.
That is the lasting impression and legacy you want to leave.