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Olympic spirit is an inspiration

Join HandsThe Olympics have just ended. I'm not sure how many of you watched the event but during the women’s 5,000 metres, something happened that inspired people around the world. Two runners, one from USA and one from New Zealand, collided around the 3,200 metre mark and both fell. One was hurt, clearly injured and struggling to get up, while the other athlete was not hurt, and could've continued the race, possibly winning a medal.

What happened next has become a source of inspiration. The uninjured athlete forgot her race and stopped to help the injured athlete up, encouraging her to finish the race. Both athletes did eventually finish the race, obviously not winning any medals, but because of what they showed, they both received a place in the final. It was a true display of excellent Olympic spirit that went beyond the usual ideals and expectations of sportsmanship.

As an organisation, we're faced with so many changes, so many goals, so many changing expectations from everyone, the list goes on and on. We're having to adjust to how we do things, embracing new technology as we go along, and having to dig deep in order to cope with all of it. Just like the two Olympians, we need to find ways to help and support each other as we work towards achieving our goals. This may mean offering support to a struggling team member or colleague, that goes beyond the usual support mechanisms. It could mean sharing not just your work knowledge, but experience and skills, words of encouragement, signposting sources of help, maintaining a positive attitude, occasional sacrifices, continually doing things that strengthen and not undermine your colleagues or team, bringing creative ideas to the table to help resolve the challenges the organisation is facing, or the challenges the people we support are facing, and so on.

It's also important to accept and embrace the support and help given by the organisation (such as technology), colleagues, and others, and more importantly, using it. If the injured athlete hadn't accepted the help and support and refused to get up, or got up and refused to use the support to continue running, the story could have been so different. It may mean, telling yourself you can do it, not giving up, not waiting to be told but using your initiative, not just playing your own part but exceeding it, and supporting others to do same.

It takes responsibility, determination, and team spirit to do that. As an organisation in these times, none of us can do it alone, but together we can cross the finish line.

Ike Onwukwe
Locality Manager