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Europe by Tandem

From Castellon (Spain) to Northern Cape (Norway) by Tandem supporting the fight against cancer.

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JL: There are lots of reasons for rising to challenges.

The desire to take up a sport challenge, to break a record or to set a new one isn’t but the desire to be better, to be a cut above your competitors, or to be held as an example to be followed by the rest. In a way, this is also what companies look for when they want to become competitive.

In order to become competitive, both in a sports and in a business context, it is essential to have a crystal clear vision that guides you, that drags you towards it. In both cases, it is a must to show a long-term commitment to that vision; it is also a must to plan, to carry out your acts and to draw on your resources in constant and consistent keeping with your vision. That vision would represent the outline of the state of play or the outline of a future result; different and ambitious, even spectacular. Fancing this vision should be exciting in itself and should raise hopes for those who have to embark on this vision trip.

Sports Psychology and I-O Psychology pursue the common aim of finding the recipe for success, of the sportsperson or of the company, in the pursuit of their vision. Therefore, we can definitely draw a close analogy between the high-level training for sports and the strategic human resources management as to their approach, methods and  goals.

Just to offer a bird’s eye view: the vision would represent the horizon; and, in order to walk towards it without getting lost, you must set short-term objectives; accomplishing those objectives entails being on the correct track. In the first place, you must define those objectives and, together with the formulation of the objectives, you must establish a self-diagnosis of the current state of your strengths and weaknesses. In the second place, you must create some programs which capitalize on your key strengths and minimize your weaknesses, i.e. you must develop employment training and development programs in the business context; and sports training programs in the sports context. In addittion, all this must be accompanied by motivation programs, that is to say, tools capable of insuring that people truly want to do what they are actually doing; and tools capable of giving satisfaction, i.e. capable of guaranteeing that people feel good doing what they do. Having the capacity to do something, wanting to do something and feeling proud of something cannot be regarded as synonymous.

If the vision is the horizon, try not to lose heart; because one step forward, two steps back. Does this mean we should give up? In my view, don’t take no for an answer. This means, in the first instance, that objectives must be revisited on a daily basis and must be updated according to circumstances; secondly, this means that despite reaching your objective, you should never stop moving forward. There is no North Cape, no Cape Finisterre; the sky is the limit. The key objective is the CIP, i.e. continuous improvement process.

Well, we’re getting nearer to Gdansk, we only have one hour to go to complete the crossing. We’re going to start preparing our bag. As soon as we arrive, we have to find out how to leave the port and find the road that takes us to Starogard. Let’s hope it’s not a highway; if it is, we’ll be in trouble.

And…we’ve just entered port, at last! Poland has welcome us with open arms and with a squall line…This is a street in Gdansk in heavy downpour.

As it happens in any good tourist city, in the vicinity of the port, a cab and shuttle company was offering its service to the newcomers. We were dreadfully sorry but we had no choice but to spend 50 euros in a van-ride to the hotel. Any other decision would have been a reckless act, among other reasons, because it would have got dark. These 45 kilometers do not add up to our solidarity count. We’ll try to make up for them later on.

See you tomorrow. Hope I can write more enjoyable posts in the next couple of days. Today was a day of reflection.

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