Talent Management Lessons from Sport – Part 1


I just started reading a new book called The Gold Mine Effect by Rasmus Ankersen (note that I will be posting a review in a few weeks) in which the author visits high performance athletic facilities to discover the secret of high performance.  This gave me an idea for a little mini-series that I will be posting over the next several weeks called Talent Management Lessons from Sport.

Lesson 1 – The Little Things

For the first installment, I want to introduce you to Olympic Gold Medalist Wang Mingjuan from China.  If you saw Mingjuan walking down the street, you would never guess that this 48kg (106 pound) woman can Snatch 91 kg (200 pounds) and Clean & Jerk 114 kg (251 pounds). To put this into perspective, pick up the next man you see walking out of a big and tall store and throw them over your head in one fluid motion.  So, how is a 100 pound woman able to put twice her body weight overhead. One of the lessons that we can take from Mingjuan’s gold medal is the power of The Little Things.

The little things in Mingjuan’s case are actually the smallest weight plates in her gym.  Every Olympic Lifting gym in the world has a collection of tiny metal discs called fractional plates that weigh as little as a quarter pound or 4 ounces (extra points if you notice the red one in the picture above).   The best coaches understand that great things are possible if you break it into small achievable steps.  In the case of Olympic Weightlifting those small achievable steps are measured in fractions of a pound, and focusing on consistently adding those fractions of a pound quickly add up to Olympic Gold.

So, think about how you can apply this to a Talent Development goal and post your comments below…

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