Friday, July 23, 2004

Learning from Lance

Yesterday's Stage 17 was sure something, wasn't it? I continue to be amazed at what these guys are able to pull off. And of course I also continue to apply what I see on le Tour (as I do with everything) to other aspects of my life. It strikes me that there is a lot to be learned about the business world from watching Lance Armstrong.

I actually wrote out a giant list of exactly that yesterday - it wasn't meant to be comprehensive but it was a pretty fair list, I thought. Well, apparently that didn't need to go out to everyone yesterday because after spending an hour and a half writing, it all went into the ether, instead of into the ethernet. Not that I'm bitter, mind you. Not at all (said through gritted teeth). Okay, maybe a little. But I'm figuring out how to make lemonade out of the carnage and I'm working on trusting that what will come out instead as a replacement will somehow be better. I haven't figured out how yet but that's what I'm shooting for!

For starters, how about I just write out a few things at a time and spread it out over a few days, eh? Shorter and easier for you to read anyway I guess. Of course, it means that a lot will probably have to wait until long after we know the outcome of this year's Tour de France. Hopefully that will be okay for all of us.

So the first thing I remember being such a powerful insight is that watching Lance and US Postal, it is abundantly clear to me that technical ability is not enough... it's just a ticket to play, is all it is. In cycling, if riding a bike well was good enough, Jan Ullrich would have many more titles than he has ('97 was his only win). In fact, that would still be true if strength, guts, and determination were "all" that it takes. Ullrich has the legs, the power and some level of will & drive. He's often regarded as one of the better bike handlers too. But Lance has won le Tour more times than Jan and at this point, it is still uncertain whether Ullrich can even pull off another second place finish.

If it's not all about the technical ability, what else is needed to win consistently? That's the part I want to try to recapture - perhaps you can help me rebuild my list. The address to use is still and it'd be great to hear from you about your ideas on the matter.

What, besides your technical abilities do you bring to the table in your life and work... and what else could you use that would help you be more successful?