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2012 Q3 Phrey Spirits Newsletter

2012 Olympics Themed

J Coll

on 9 October 2012

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Transcript of 2012 Q3 Phrey Spirits Newsletter

I’ve an Olympic-y shaped hole in my life since the Games ended. Honestly. I miss it. To ease all of our collective pain, I’ve collected some pretty interesting Firsts, Facts and Quotes that nicely sum up the magic of the event and make us all feel like under-achievers:
1. The first gold medal of the Games was won by China's Yi Siling when she claimed the women's 10m air rifle. "I cried after winning the gold because it relieved all the pressure" - Siling
2. Im Dong-hyun, South Korea's visually impaired archer, set the first world record at London 2012 when he broke his own 72-arrow mark of 696 by three points. He can barely read the big letters at the top of an optician's chart, and aims at a "yellow blob" on the target 70 metres away.
3. Usain Bolt became the first man to retain both Olympic sprint titles when he swept the competition aside to win the 100m and 200m. "I'm a living legend" - Bolt, humble as ever 4. Jamaica's 4x100m men's relay team broke the 37-second barrier for the first time when they shattered their own world record to win gold in a time of 36.84 seconds. "Basically, we are not human, we dropped from space like Mr Bean. Mr Bean is not a normal guy, he makes jokes. We are not normal guys. We are from space, I am from Mars." - Yohan Blake. Riiight.
5. Wojdan Shaherkani became the first Saudi Arabian woman to compete at the Olympic Games when she took part in the +78kg judo competition. "Hopefully this is the beginning of a new era" "I was scared a lot, because of all the crowd." – Shaherkhani, 16
6. David Rudisha of Kenya became the first man to run the 800m inside one minute 41 seconds when he set a new world record of 1:40.91 while winning the 800m gold medal. "This is the moment I have been waiting for for a very long time," he said. "To come here and to break the world record is something unbelievable." 7. Great Britain won the first-ever gold medal in Olympic women's boxing when Nicola Adams from Leeds outclassed China's Ren Cancan to win the flyweight competition.  "Now the time has come, it's finally here," said the 29-year-old.
8. Jade Jones won Great Britain's first gold medal in taekwondo when she beat Yuzhuo Hou of China in the 57kg category. "It's just bonkers and singing that anthem standing there with everyone clapping and cheering, it's just amazing," said 19-year-old Jones
9. Great Britain and Ireland met in an Olympic boxing final for the first time, with Luke Campbell beating John Joe Nevin to secure bantamweight gold for Team GB. "It's a day I've dreamed of for a long, long time, I'm lost for words. It means everything." - Campbell
10. The start of the Games meant that London became the first city to host the modern Olympics three times, having also welcomed the world's athletes in 1908 and 1948. “Greedy” – Kate McCarthy And some personal highlights of my Olympic season:
1. Seeing Chad LeClos’s dad go absolutely mental with joy after watching Chad beat Michael Phelps to gold in the 200m fly. Oh, there were tears. (see it again here)
2. Michael Phelps in general, despite no.1 above. The word ‘awesome’ gets bandied about a bit. This man is the definition. [Can you tell I’m a fan of the swimming?]
3. Katie Taylor getting gold in the Boxing. One Olympic gold for Team Ireland. Brought the country to a standstill. What an absolute legend.
Wish we could do it all again! Rio 2016: I’ll be there. I truly love sport, both playing and watching it. However unfortunately due to injuries I have been unable to play my usual sports (Rugby & hockey) for over a year. In the last few years I have noticed (as has my girlfriend) that when I am unable to play sport or go to the gym my general mood is adversely affected. Unfortunately as the end of July approached my morale took a hit with new injuries occurring and old injuries continuing to persist. However fortunately for my girlfriend and I there was an Olympic sized boost just around the corner. Holiday was duly booked and Team GB kit ordered, as I began the countdown in earnest.

One of the many reasons why I love the Olympics is hearing about the different personal stories of the Olympians (“Customer Journeys” for those working at Morrison’s). I believe it is these stories that offer the opportunity to inspire us all.

There are three main types of personal stories; success against adversity, success through hard work, and relatively unexpected success. All of these stories are inspirational, however I think that each of them demonstrate a different life lesson which we can all apply to our daily lives. Success against adversity stories are often the most broadcasted during the Olympics because for most of us they are almost unbelievable. The Para-Olympics also supplies a huge number of these stories. These are the stories where the “human spirit” is often spoken of and whether you believe in it or not, the mental strength that these men and women have shown is astounding. They have taken many knocks in their lives and just picked themselves up and continued towards their goal. This basic mantra can be applied to all of our personal and work lives. Everyone experiences setbacks but it is not these setbacks that determine our path in life but how we respond to them. An example of someone who has succeeded against adversity is Lopez Lamong. Born in South Sudan he was abducted at the age of six by rebels, he was assumed dead by his family and buried in absentia. The rebels who captured him were hoping to turn him into a child solider. Fortunately after 3 weeks he escaped with four other boys and after running for three days and nights they crossed the border into Kenya. Lopez then lived for 10 years in a refugee camp in Kenya. Lopez was resettled in the United States at the age of 16 and just 6 years later was given the honour of being the flag bearer for the 2008 Summer Olympics after qualifying for the 5000m. Success through hard work stories are also unsurprisingly common at the Olympics, and as such do not receive quite as much airtime as the adversity stories. These are however, in my eyes at least, exceptional stories like Urige Buta, Epke Zonderland and the slightly more famous Michael Phelps. The most obvious inspiration that we can all take from these stories is that through hard work anything can be achieved or put more simply, you reap what you sow. This old idiom is as true now as it was then and is definitely something that applies to both our work and personal lives. Ethiopian born marathon runner Urige Buta fled Ethiopia due to political pressure and has been living in Norway since 2003. Unfortunately for Urige he most definitely does not enjoy the same training patterns as most pro athletes. He holds a full time janitors job at a local school where he tries to fit in his training and looking after his 9 month old child. Due to his immigration status in Norway he has not been allowed to leave the country for training. This is why during the long Norwegian winter he trains by running up and down a mile long underground service tunnel built for sewage pipes. He came 36th in the London 2012 Men’s Marathon. The relatively unexpected success stories are rarer, and for me at least they are the stories that always give me something to think about. These stories are also known as “Late starter” stories. They are the stories of men and women who have led a large proportion of their life never dreaming of being an Olympian before, often by chance, stumbling upon a sport that they have a natural talent for. I am sure there were many examples of these at the Olympics but three from Team GB stuck in my memory, sprinter Adam Gemilli, rower Heather Stanning and boxer Anthony Joshua. Anthony Joshua took up boxing in 2007 aged 18 at the suggestion of his cousin. Joshua won the Haringey Box cup two years later and in only his 18th bout won the senior UK ABA Championship in 2010. Still a relative unknown he went to the 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championship where he won silver beating the reigning world and Olympic champion on route to the final. Just over 4 years after starting to box In the London 2012 Olympics Anthony Joshua won the Gold medal. There is definitely something that we can take away from these stories and apply to our daily lives. What we can take away is not that we all have a hidden sporting talent, but that we all have hidden talents even if we don’t know what they are yet. This talent may be pole vault, cooking or giving workshops but the key fact here is that you will not find your talent without trying new things!

I hope that this article has not ended up sounding too much like a self-help book; it truly did not start out that way! I only ask that you consider these three points: •It is how you respond to set-backs that sets your path;
•Only through hard work will your goals be achieved;
•And we all have hidden talents but you will only find them by trying new things. Long ago, back in September 2012, 4 long distance runners from India & 13 others from the UK started their journey to London to participate in the Holborn Marathon, part of London Olympics 2012 and sponsored by the elite ‘Consulting Development Community’ or more popularly known as ‘CDC’.

The Holborn Marathon is the most reputed sporting event among management consultants across the UK . This sporting event was spread across 10 ‘Working’ days including 2 ‘Woking’ days, 1 ‘Hol’ day & 7 ‘Banking (South)’ Days. Unlike other sports, this was a unique event as the CDC team takes great care in selecting raw talents, training them for 2 weeks and making them the best-in-class. After each training session, athletes would sit around and discuss the B’s and C’s with Helen and Victoria, deeply ingraining the skills of giving and receiving feedback to equip them with this essential tool; no matter where they are, no matter what they do, they will always believe in constructive feedback mechanism. Energizers kept them engaged during the intensive & fun filled training sessions. Evening parties and social activities brought out hidden talents in some athletes- including some shooting and bowling skills. In an interesting incident, one of the athletes even thought of joining the Military after he discovered his hidden talent in shooting. ‘Don’t think, just drink’ became a mantra for several of those social activities.

People thought they would not even last 1 week, yet they remained! 5 Days went by and the CDCers introduced themselves to the bigger community (previous Olympic champions) in a ‘Monopolistic’ way and the bigger community welcomed the new athletes in style by coaching them how to think ‘digitally’ through a case study challenge. The final week was intense with training on different tools, capabilities and skills that are needed to become a professional athlete. Athletes, although tired, could handle all the tools and techniques by now. Now they are experts in giving and receiving feedback. Now they know how to build an Olympic level ‘business’ case, how to use ‘brown’ tracks, how to map ‘marathon’ processes, how to use the T-Map to win games and how to use storyboarding to communicate ‘clearly’ to the stakeholders that they are the best! All in under 2 weeks! These athletes were particularly inspired, both emotionally and digitally, when most of the Senior Olympic Gold Medalists including Bill Cook (CEO), Cyd Fowkes (Head of Accounts and Markets), Simon Street(COO) , Kiran Arora(CDC Manager) and scores of Senior VPs came to speak to them.

Finally the ‘D’ day came! 17 Athletes, 3 Teams, 2 Judges, 1 Event. All the three teams used the various tools and techniques which were taught by the scores of CDCers and used them effectively to tackle the formidable challenge of cracking the ‘Marathon’ case. And the million ‘pound’ question: Who won the event? All of them shouted at the same time… ‘We all did’.
At the end of 2 weeks, there were no winners, no competitions, no nationalities, no universities, no MBAs, no religions; There were just ‘us’ - ‘the CDC batch of Sept 2012’.That is what CDC does to you!
Day 1 started with the ‘passport’ preparation where each participant prepared a passport with explanatory diagrams for their life story to gain eligibility to participate in the Marathon. ‘Brown papers’ were introduced in the second day where each athlete (appropriately dressed in suits) was required to get their hands dirty on the sport track. Athletes showed their enthusiasm by building a huge paper monument for the event co-coordinators, Helen & Victoria. The learning curve and expectations rose during these days with various trainers coming to coach the participants in time tested tools and techniques to equip them for the Marathon. “Hello all

It’s ridiculous: another three months have passed… It won’t be long until full-on winter but at least you can start to think about holidays. I went for a pub meal last weekend and there were already reminders to book Christmas parties. Mind you this was in Rochdale where it seems to go straight from Spring to Autumn so I’ll let them off.

Anyway, it’s time to bid a fond farewell to Suman and Fisayo (they’re not going too far) on the bittersweet occasion of their promotion and departure from the CDC, and to welcome all our new intake. Induction is over and James, Morgan, George, Daniel and Rahul are to be let loose on first projects. This might provoke some nagging questions ranging from the small (how do I book a meeting room?) to the mysterious (what can I use the ‘miscellaneous hotel expenses’ category for? Answer: no-one really knows). Luckily you have a group of helpful and knowledgeable Phrey Spirits colleagues to ask all these questions to. I can try too if they’re not around.

So don’t hesitate to get in touch and look out for future opportunities to get together. I’m sure Kate will be in touch soon with plans for our next social.

Until then, good luck and enjoy it.

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