The Winter Olympics – A Lesson in Potential and Opportunity

The Winter Olympics have been amazing to watch. Being able to perform to such a high standard in such freezing conditions is testament to the participants’ dedication and training.

And one could hardly fail to be impressed by the tender age of some of the participants and medal winners. How could they be so good so young?!

The youngest competitor was just 15 and not just one, but two gold medals have so far been won by 17 year olds…..too young to vote but old enough to shine for their countries as top class Olympians.

As we make our way through the first quarter of 2018 it’s a timely reminder that young people can work hard and achieve great things with the right attitudes and opportunity.

Yes, of course it is up to them to work hard, but it is also up to recruiters and managers to search out potential and maximise opportunity so our emerging talent can flourish.

Indeed the achievements of these young people at the Games was not only inspiring but a good wake up call to remind us all that one doesn’t need years’ of experience under your belt to achieve great results.

These athletes weren’t born world class competitors, someone, somewhere spotted their potential and nurtured them.


Potential comes in different guises but here are some signposts to look out for;

  • A person’s motivation to do well personally and in the wider context.

  • Their ability to develop and adapt to changing circumstances.

  • Curiosity and an enquiring mind.

  • The determination to reach their goals no matter what the obstacles.

  • Most great ideas or inventions didn’t start out ‘big’ but persistence helped them grow and develop. And persistence is often what gets things accepted. Persistence is often the driver of progress.

Look for these attributes in your people and you won’t go far wrong in spotting potential.

You may not have an Olympic athlete in your team but you just might have a someone with the potential to achieve great results with the right nurturing.