It’s true – I love the Olympics and every two years I find a way to work the Olympic theme into a blog topic. I’m super-excited about the Winter Games kicking off this weekend so it’s time to make another connection to Leadership.

I so admire all the athletes, and a common theme when interviewed is about the fantastic experience it is to represent their country on a global stage. Wow – what must that be like?

I can imagine it is both an honor…and a heavy burden.

The athletes want to do their very best, which adds up to a lot of pressure. Millions of people watch as they either win big or experience “the agony of defeat.”

That is much like what any leader experiences, even if a global audience isn’t watching.

My question to you is this: How are you representing your team?

Your “team” may be anything from your family at home to a whole division within a large organization. Regardless of your level or position, every person can demonstrate leadership, and when you go out in the world, you are representing that “team.”

Too often we tend to operate on auto-pilot rather than being intentional about how we show up in daily life. I’m proposing we use the Olympic Games as a catalyst to raise our consciousness about how we represent our team.

Here are a few questions to prompt some self-reflection:

  • What are my values? Am I operating in a way that demonstrates those values?
  • Am I listening to my intuition? What does my gut tell me is the right thing to do?
  • Is the story I’m telling myself empower or disempower?
  • Do I know what I’m known for? Am I proud of that?
  • What is the impact or outcome I want to have today? (my personal favorite)

Before you pick up your phone in the morning, choose one of these questions, (or one of your own), and take 5 minutes to reflect and answer for yourself. When faced with challenging situations during the day, you may find a different question more relevant, so keep a list handy for easy reference.

I have been practicing this and have found it helps to keep me focused on the right things, and I’ve noticed I’m calmer and more centered.

Just like the Olympians, who want to represent their country in a positive manner, we all strive to put our best foot forward. Be the leader you know you can be. Pause long enough to reflect on your intentions so that you too can represent your team like a gold-medal winner!

Martha Duesterhoft is a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter @mduesterhoft or connect by email at