Today at the Olympics, the Canadian men’s 4x100m team ran an amazing race only to have the Bronze medal stripped from them 5 minutes after the end of the race. A review revealed that one of the men stepped on the lane dividing line between the lanes which meant an automatic disqualification. He quickly recognized his mis-step, accepted accountability and apologized to his teammates and to Canada. What class!
These four men brought their heart and spirit to the race and they all shared a common vision — to win a medal. It has been their focus for at least the past year and all of their training has focused on today’s race. A 1 cm mis-step on the third leg – a step on the line – changed everything. The fact is, they did finish third — the best they have done at the Olympics since Atlanta.
In a tough interview on CTV later that night they spoke about how touch it is to go through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in such a short timespan. Regardless they each recognized the contributions of and pride in each team member and their coaches. Interestingly they all confirmed the rule should not be changed as it is what makes the race so much more challenging and special. It was interesting to hear them talk about how they realize the 5 minutes they had to celebrate was so awesome they don’t want to forget that feeling. Instead they now want to use it to motivate themselves so they can experience it again only this time also have the prize! Recognizing the positive comments from other teams who recognized how well they did in the race was another motivator for the team.
The team spirit these Canadian runners exhibited included:
1. A common vision
2. Support and understanding – in good times and in bad
3. Communication — Ability to speak and hear each other
4. Determination to put a setback behind them and move forward.
5. The ability to find the good and use it to launch forward.
If you are a part of team, can you say the same? What traits can you bring to your team to build it to this high level?