Did you know that the Olympic Games originally ran for at least one thousand years, from 776 BC to 373 AD at the ancient site of Olympia?
This town of 750 significant buildings can be found in the Peloponnese, a peninsula in the southern part of Greece.
The Roman Emperor Theodosius I, a Christian, abolished the Games, as part of his efforts to suppress paganism in the Roman Empire.
Mudslides and silt from the Cladeus River eventually covered much of the area.
This meant that the whole site stayed out of sight, and more importantly, preserved, until it was rediscovered in the nineteenth century.
In 1896, led by the International Olympic Committee, the games were restored. I love the fact that the Olympian torch is lit here even now.
Every four years the torch is taken to the location of our modern day games wherever they are held.
For me, it was massively exciting to visit the point of origin where the Olympic Games started so many years ago.
Even on a cold, wet and grey day in April last month I found it extremely moving to:
- visit the place where the flame is lit,
- see the temple of Zeus,
- walk through the arch to the running stadium and even run my own race (I won!).
Maybe we can use this story to think about our own Olympic games. What about our lives and careers got silted in the pandemic?
What might we now want to rediscover, restore, resurrect, or re-prioritise? What is our win?
It may also be, as we value of our lives more vividly, that we want to bring more focus, passion and vibrancy to our hopes and goals too.
Can you connect from the old, before the pandemic, to the new, i.e. to what you want from your life and career now?
Here are some examples:
- I’m delighted for my daughter that after two years delay she can now progress with her goal to work abroad. She got cracking, widened the net on where to look and has accepted a job offer to start work in Sydney, Australia. She starts next month.
- A client consciously increased her focus to work in the field of sustainability. She stepped out of her comfort zone and accepted a 12 month contract with a global, private sector organisation in a totally different field from her public sector career to date. She starts this week.
- Someone I work with has moved to a Director of Engineering role in a new sector, shifting from transport to utilities. A new, more senior challenge now home schooling is through makes her heart sing.
The pandemic helped us see more clearly that life can be short and unpredictable. Sometimes with technology, our goals can be met in different ways too.
The moment to act is now.
What does this mean for me?
I can now resurrect my desire to deliver work abroad too. From working with my own coach, I have stepped up and developed the awesome, playful, ridiculous and bigger goal to deliver leadership training in 150 different countries.
(Currently the number is 9, with a plan for Malaysia as number 10, and a possibility for Mozambique as number 11!)
The site at Olympia has much, much more to redisover and this may be true for you too.
Moving to you
What is the win for this stage of your life and career? What is it that you want to uncover, rediscover, resurrect, focus and shape, but most of all put into action too?
Gill How loves to work internationally with managers, executives and professionals to help them to evolve, stretch and grow their leadership capability.
You may also know that Gill is co-founder of the Women in Transport Leadership Programme, Lead. The next programme starts in September. Here is what one of our previous participants has to say:
The course is excellent and surprisingly insightful. It will provide you with real tools you can use in your current role and the next steps you can take to progress towards your ultimate career goal. Ruth Anderson, RDG, Senior Legal Counsel
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Photo credits: Martin How and Gill How