Monday, 30 July 2012

Lessons from Lizzie!

Well done to Lizzie Armistead who yesterday won Team GB's first Olympic 2012 medal, earning silver in the women's road race. 
Elizabeth Armitstead
We often learn through things that don't go well, but we should also learn from, as well as celebrate, sporting success. Here's what I'll take from Lizzie - (aside from the obvious being good and working hard!):

  • Scenario: Lizzie (and the women's team in general) were not the headliners - the men's team were.
  • Lesson: Success does not always come where you expect it, so look at talent all around and don't be too concerned with being the 'favourite'

  • Scenario: We were meant to get gold for the men's road race. This sadly didn't happen due, apparently, to the tactics of others and a lack of plan B.
  • Lesson: Learn from what happens to others, and have a plan B 

  • Scenario: Lizzie took the initiative to break away from the team
  • Lesson: Timing is critical. Trust your instints

  • Scenario: Lizzie was originally a track star, but chose to concentrate on the road rather than the track for this Olympics
  • Lesson: Don't limit your options too much, too soon; but know when to streamline and focus

  • Scenario: When the eventual winner, Marianne Vos, went for it... so did Lizzie
  • Lesson: Stick to your own game, but don't let the competition out of your sight!

  • Scenario: Lizzie played a key role in helping Nicole Cooke win gold at the 2008 Road World Championships as part of the team
  • Lesson: Be a good team player, and your time to shine will come

  • Scenario: Lizzie apparently took up cycling relatively late, only taking up the sport 8 years ago.
  • Lesson: It's not when you start, it's where you finish!

Here's what business should take in addition to the above:

  • Scenario: Lizzie was spotted through a talent identification scheme
  • Lesson: Introduce one of these, spot and support talent, reap the rewards (obviously)!

Lizzie Armitstead riding behind Marianne Vos


  1. Good lessons! Lizzie is a great role model too and popular with the team, by all accounts. She fought hard in yesterday's race and almost caught Marianne Vos. It was a brilliant ride and we can all be inspired by the hard work, determination and effort she put in.

  2. Great article! I would add about the men's competition that you shouldn't expect the same tactics will always bring you success, especially when the competition will have studied you. Have something else up your sleeve (the plan B)!

  3. Excellent article! I would add too that focus and determination are key. She was absolutely focused on what she wanted to achieve and didn't let it out of her sight when the opportunity arose.