One of the most important aspects of being a successful person is knowing that “you can’t do it alone.” Something I learned at a very early age is that you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. Hurdling may be an individual sport, but
I wouldn’t have reached the top of the podium at the 1992 Olympics without the help and support of my team. From my co-athletes on the Canadian national team, to the trainers, to my friends, family, and supporters, having the right team can make all the difference
in the world.
The people you surround yourself with will either lift you up or drag you down. Every group that I have worked with has been a stepping stone to the next success in my life. The better your group is, the batter you are. Early in my career I had the good
fortune of training with the best group of track and field athletes that Canada has ever produced. From there I searched for the best hurdlers in North America, venturing down to the US on scholarship and having the opportunity to train under the tutelage
of the world record holder, his coach and the coach of many Olympic champions, and coach of some of the greatest hurdlers of all time. Finally, I journeyed to Europe and trained with the person who I consider to be the greatest hurdler of all time and the
greatest hurdle coach of all time. Can you imaging living with Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, or the like? What would that do to your career? Exactly! Living, eating, and breathing excellence 24/7 has a remarkable effect on your ability to succeed.
Coin Jackson and his coach Malcolm Arnold were my Steve Jobs. Whenever I competed and Colin wasn’t in the race it was like a day off–that’s how big of a deal living day-in and day-out with his competitive drive was. Training at a level that was higher than
most people even compete at gave me the confidence to perform at a much higher level overall.
Always aspire to surround yourself with the best people you can. It will take work, and it will force you outside of your comfort zone, but the payoff is worth it. Success is not for everyone. Winning is not for everyone. It starts with discipline, and
the consistency to persevere. To overcome failure, you must put your head down and do whatever it takes without making excuses. If you want to be in that 1 percent club, if you want to stand out from the crowd, if you want to have the good things in life,
there is a price to pay. That price starts with surrounding yourself with the best people you can find.
The same is true for the business world. Attracting and retaining the best employees, management, and work-related talent is a major challenge that all companies must face today. If your company wants to succeed, it needs to hire the best people. Sounds
like a no-brainer, right? But HOW can you bring in the most-talented people? A great way to do so is by providing corporate incentives.
Including incentives as part of your employee compensation plan will help you attract and retain the best and brightest, while also serving to motivate your current employees to reach new heights. People who are are willing to face–and meet–these incentive
goals are the people you want on your team when the going gets tough.
In my next post, I’ll break down why employee incentives–and choosing the right partner to help supply them–can turn your company from an “also-ran” into a champion.