Perfection may be a myth – but it’s worth trying for

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Over the years I have enjoyed a number of exchanges with Kristina Groves, a world champ speed skater with 4 Olympic medals, where we have discussed the value of technique. We freely admit that we were completely dedicated (obsessed?) to perfecting it and that parking our brains on it was often the only thing that helped us to avoid realizing how hard we were pushing ourselves and how much pain our bodies were in as we were training or racing.

The idea of perfection has popped up in a few blogs I’ve seen recently and, for the most part, everyone seems to agree that the quest for it can be, and I’ll paraphrase –  distracting. In a mentor message to the 2012 Team and in the Power of More I shared my ideas on perfection and I thought I’d bring them to the surface again. Here, from the section of my book on Preparation, is an excerpt that discusses the myth of perfection; Continue reading

The Art of Leadership: Love It or Hate It

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Last week, Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) announced that Mike Spracklen, an internationally renowned rowing coach would no longer be part of its coaching staff and it has put most rowers, and those who follow rowing, into one of two camps. You either think it is a good thing, or a terrible thing; it is very difficult to be in the middle.

Mike Spracklen has had a brilliant career as a coach and is passionate about the movement and effort of rowing. His thoughts and directions to his crews often sound poetic. He is an artist and like most art – discussion of it can be very polarizing.

The situation leads me to remember a play I saw in London a few years ago called Art. It was a one-act play – a kind of British-Seinfeld discussion where one of the three characters had recently purchased a very expensive piece of art. With great pride he showed his beloved new painting to his best friend who absolutely hated it. “It is a white paining with white diagonal stripes. How could you possibly have spent so much money on such a thing?” The comical yet heated play that followed discussed how they could remain friends if they were so opposite on whether this was art or not. Continue reading