All you can hear is your thoughts.
You stand with one leg on the block, the other flat on the Rio 2016 Olympics Aquatic Stadium floor.
Your eyes peer through the bright lights as you examine every aspect of the water in your lane. You’re queued to take your place on the block.
“I’m number one,” you say to yourself. All the work you’ve done over the last four years was for this moment.
You’re ready – and this time, it’s different. You’re up against the young man that beat you in the same event four years ago.
You’re the best in the world. You intend to prove it tonight.
“Please step down,” the announcer calmly says over the speaker. You’ve been deep in your thoughts that you didn’t realize the screams across the stadium.
Everyone is ready for you to make history. But, you’re too focused to let it affect your purpose.
You step off the block one last time. You remember why you’re here: to prove why you’re the best in the world. You’re number one.
The starting signal sounds.
Less than two minutes later you finish the 200-meter butterfly – you’ve done it! You’ve won your 20th gold medal.
You’re Michael Phelps. Are you surprised?
You never stop practicing and improving, so you shouldn’t be. One loss four years ago won’t prevent you from reclaiming your place in history.
Yes, this marks your 20th gold medal. But, you’re not done.
The 21st Reason Why Michael Phelps Keeps Honing
Tuesday night’s 200-meter butterfly win against South Africa’s Le Clos was not enough. Le Clos beat Phelps back in 2012 in London.
In the latest CNN article by James Masters, he writes, “Arms aloft and waving his finger, Michael Phelps left nobody in doubt just who was No. 1 Tuesday.”
The article “Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky shine on golden night for US” continues with, “Four years on since losing his 200-meter Olympic butterfly title, Phelps taught his rival Chad le Clos a brutal lesson. The oldest individual gold medalist in Olympic swimming history at 31, Phelps celebrated by hugging baby son Boomer after taking in the adulation of a raucous crowd.”
Phelps’ journey to Rio inspired us. Yes, he was already an Olympic hero, but the drive to stay on top brought him back to the pool.
This Olympics, he had one mission: conquer the 200-meter butterfly to prove he is the best in the world. After defeating Le Clos, he stood tall in the pool and waved his arms signaling to the crowd to bring on more cheers.
This feat is the direct result of Phelps’ constant practicing, improving, and optimizing. He wants to be the best. He is the best.
He proved that fact again in the same evening. He returned to the pool with his teammates to seal the deal on his 21st gold medal, making him the oldest individual gold medalist in Olympic swimming history – at 31 years old.
If he did not invest the time into maximizing his abilities, could he have achieved back-to-back gold medals in the same evening?
His story inspired us. It’s real. It’s the reason we’re here to tell you why – even if faced with adversity – you must never stop practicing and improving your operation.
Now, we don’t have 21 reasons like Phelps. However, we’ll provide eight reasons why tabletop exercises are crucial for proactive operations.
8 Ways Tabletop Exercises Help Proactive Operations Maximize Performance
We get it; your operation is drastically different than an Olympic gold medalist. But, it’s important to understand the eight ways constant practice will energize your staff.
It’s how you improve your operation for enough years to achieve more than 21 gold medals.
Consider how implementing this technique will change the way your ‘team’ will see you as a proactive leader.
Win a gold medal in Proactive Operations – starting today!
Running through scenarios with your team focuses them. Everyone learns the fundamentals for ensuring efficient execution.
We’re confident Phelps would agree that everyone must be accountable for their role. Accountability is necessary because it gives everyone peace of mind knowing that everyone is taking care of their part of the operation.
Assess your team’s abilities. Coach them. Hold them accountable for mistakes, commend them for success, and set expectations for the future.
Your team feels valued when you take the time to help them achieve success. Do you agree? You’re an expert on the guidelines of Proactive Operations. Share the expertise with your staff.
Improvement exercises don’t only allow you to fix problems, but also let you find the root of the problem. Whether it’s process or personnel-related, take an in-depth look at what’s disrupting your proactive operation.
Certify their importance and watch them excel.
Let your team work through ideas for improving your operation. Don’t dictate how things must be done.
Give them goals and expectations. But, don’t inhibit their creative abilities. You might be surprised of what they achieve.
They may find specific details in the process you never thought of to improve while walking through several different types of common and uncommon scenarios.
Don’t forget; they’re the frontline of your proactive operation. Your team sees everything, and before anyone else.
Tabletop exercises afford your operation the freedom to practice without aftermath. Test theories that might work before being exposed to them in real life.
Successful people are confident. Would you agree?
Help your employees become the experts throughout your operation, so they become confident.
The exercises we encourage increase self-awareness. It evokes confidence.
Training lets your team enhance their knowledge, which leads to the confidence necessary to perform as a proactive operation.
Most importantly, it allows them to do it with all the advantages of the scenarios not being real life. Trying processes and procedures out during an exercise develops the right habits for when it counts.
Give your employees feedback. Let them know whether they are performing to your standards or not. Create an environment of confidence and reap the benefits.
A lot can go right or wrong when your team is in the midst of the day-to-day operation. From documenting incidents or issues to analyzing the results, anything can happen.
There might be some steps in the process that you can improve or change completely. You can improve your process to help your team become better aware of all incidents occurring throughout your property.
Running through everyday events and how to respond produces various solutions. This practice strengthens effectiveness.
Solutions lead to awareness. More solutions result in greater awareness of anything occurring on your property.
Train your employees to understand the impact of their role. Show them why training is vital to their ability to catch something before it affects the lives of many.
Exercises lead to an aware workforce. This awareness results in improved safety and security of your guests and staff.
Don’t you want to produce a memorable experience for your guests? We’d expect nothing less from a Proactive Operation.
Build a high performing team. Train, train and train some more. It’s the only way to win gold as a proactive operation.
Question: What is a well-trained team capable of accomplishing? The short answer is “anything.”
With Proactive Operations integrated into your operation, you’ll maximize your productivity in each of these six areas:
Tabletop exercises boost your abilities in everything you do. Give your operation this capacity. Choose to be a highly-effective operation.
The bottom line, above all, is that the responsibility to never stop improving rests heavy on your shoulders. The way to lighten this load is to employ tabletop exercises.
Proving yourself as a proactive leader means practicing, learning, achieving, and optimizing. It also means doing this with your team.
Over to You
It’s the truth. The only way to achieve maximum performance as a proactive operation is never to stop putting in the work. It’s critical to the longevity of your property. It’s fundamental to your success.
Now, Michael Phelps has 21 examples of why you should never stop improving your operation’s abilities. Because here’s the thing, it never gets easier, but you’ll get better.