Congratulations to all Olympic Athletes – they’ve been training most of their lives, they have competed all over the world with other contenders. The ‘ski industry community’ is very small – each name comes with a story and athletes are very familiar with one another. Canadians with Russians, Swedes with Americans; they all know each other and their personalities and reputations follow them all over the world.
Alexandre Bilodeau has his own legacy, one that has followed him around within the industry – and now he has triggered a new legacy as the world congratulates him on winning the gold medal in Men’s Moguls for Canada. What people in the skiing community know about Alexandre is that his older brother is one of his heros. Frederic has cerebral palsy, and his medal winning brother attributes much of his success to what he has learned from Frederic. Alex has made his mark. But it doesn’t stop there!
As of yesterday, Alexandre Bilodeau has just taken on a new leadership position. He is the first Canadian to win a gold medal on Canadian soil and is a new role model for young athletes’ world-wide. His job is about to get a whole lot bigger than it has in the past, and he has just boarded a new lift. He will be inundated with sponsorship offers, event invites and much more.
Alex is about to test his leadership skills more publicly than any of us in business usually do – they will be tested in front of the world for all to see and base opinion. The stats only tell a portion of the story – he won the gold medal, that’s the stat. Each step he makes from here will define his leadership and mentorship of a community within an industry that pushes for excellence and hard work. The public will (rightly or wrongly) judge his character and lay expectation before him of how a ‘gold medal winner’ is to behave.
Sponsors he chooses to work with will want their products represented with just the right persona. All leadership roles take on this kind of pressure and expectation, a bit less public but all people who are being led make assumptions and build opinion about their leaders.
What’s often missing is guidance for the new leader – that ideal element leading to the success of leaders within organizations. Having advisors to train, coach, or guide them through how to manage opinions, expectations and build alignment with teams and collaborative business units can make the difference between success and failure.
Being a great leader and mentor calls for being authentic. One cannot build a false ‘persona’ for the public then lead a different life in private because they will always be found out. (I don’t need to share examples here, you know who they are.) Leaders can choose to be a ‘better self’ making their actions a legacy worth sharing with their children and for all others to follow.
Strategic Sense offers a program for new and emerging leaders called “14 Weeks of Managers Making the Mark” teaching leaders to make their mark by leaving a positive leadership legacy in their role as leaders everywhere. Contact us to find out more about our programs for leaders.