This week two young GB Paralympians will return to school after excelling at Rio 2016. They were both inspired to overcome their disabilities and enter competitive sport by watching their idols during London 2012.
Hannah Cockcroft was unbeaten in her T34 wheelchair field for seven years until she came up against Kare Adenegan in London last September.
Hannah’s shock defeat gave her (in her words) the kick up the backside that she needed ensure she trained harder for Rio 2016.
Going into the September 2015 race, Hannah acknowledges that she took it for granted she would keep winning. In Rio Hannah won all three of her races and fifteen year old Kare followed closely behind with one silver plus two bronze medals.
Ellie Robinson took up swimming after her namesake, Ellie Simmonds, became a medal winner and an ambassador for disability sport. Ellie Robinson competed several times alongside Ellie Simmonds and other world champions bringing home a gold and bronze medal.
How do you get your team to feel the energy and passion that Ellie R and Kare felt when watching London 2012? Do you get on with your day job and take it for granted that you will stay ahead of the game?
Although Ellie Simmonds and Hannah Cockcroft are not ready to hand over their batons yet, leadership succession planning is clearly already in hand within Team GB to maintain world championship status when the time comes.
The questions this begs of you
Who’s coming up behind you and who’s ready to succeed in your position when you’re promoted? Are your leadership skills helping you put plans in place to ensure a competitor doesn’t steal that lead?
And perhaps more importantly…
If you have nobody coming up behind you to kick your backside from below and make your team succeed, are you going to have your backside kicked from some other place which will hurt you far more?