Andrew Brunhart On the Leadership Lessons of the Olympics

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<p> 1. WhattheOlympicsCanTeachUs AboutLeadership ByAndrewBrunhart February24,2014 The2014WinterOlympicsare captivatingtheheartsofmanymembers oftheglobalcommunity.Many televisionsetsaretunedinasvictors riseandsomedreamsendindefeat. Beyondwinningandlosing,Olympic athleteshavealottoshowasleaders andlendthemselveswelltoalarger metaphorofgovernmentleaders. Theseathletesspendmostoftheirlives trainingtirelesslyintheshadows.Then allofthesudden,fortwoweeks,they arepushedintotheinternationalspotlightwithmillionsofaudiencemembers. Whiletheyarecompetingeverymovetheymakeisdiscussed.Thecommentators talkabouthowtheyprepare,theyaskforstatementsontheirperformance,andthey insistongettingthedirtydetailsoftheirpersonallifetopaintanaccuratepictureof theircharacterduringthewintergames.Ifanathletemakesamisstepinanyof theseinterviewsorreactsinawaythatseemslessthanfavorabletowardsan opponent,theycanbepaintedasarrogant,weak,orabadrepresentativefortheir country. Thisaspectofleadership,performingwellinthepubliceye,isrelevanttofederal leaders.Leadershavetocultivateandmaintainapublicreputation.Leadersneedto usefailurestoimproveandencouragetheirteam/employeestoworktogetherto solveproblems.Thesetraitswillnotonlyboostanimportantpublicimage,butwill alsoimproveperformance. TheOlympicathletesatSochihavepassedonsomeinterestingwordsofwisdom thatcouldbenefitfederalleadership.U.S.snowboarderSageKotsenburgcamefrom obscureathletetogoldmedalistandencouragesothersto,relish,dontstressthe bigmoment.Someathletes,likedownhillskierBodeMiller,blameexternalfactors fortheirdefeats,likecloudyskies.However,thebestathletesseefailureasan opportunitytoimproveratherthanatimetomakeexcuses.FigureskaterAshley Wagnercameinfourthinanationalcompetitionafewweeksago,butthentook advantageoftheOlympicopportunitytohelpwintheU.S.abronzemedal.This proveshowimportantitistogiveyourselfandothersasecondchancetosucceed 2. andtotreatitlikeanopportunity,afreshstart.Thebottomlineis,dontletdefeat getyoudown.ShaunWhitedidnotmedalthisyearinthesnowboardinghalf-pipe competition.Thisisevenmoreofablowbecausehehaswonforthepasttwo Olympics.Hecouldhavegivenintohisdisappointment,especiallybecausehewas experiencingitpublically.InsteadWhitejumpedoverthebarriertothefansand gavetwoyoungcancerpatientshigh-fives.Hisstrongpublicappearanceintheface offailureisanexampleforleaderseverywhere. AndrewBrunhartearnedhisBachelorofScienceinElectricalEngineeringfrom MarquetteUniversity,wherehegraduatedwithMagnaCumLaudehonors.Hethen wentontopursueaMasterofScienceinElectricalEngineeringfromUniversityof Illinois.Afterobtainingthisdegree,heattendedWaldenUniversityinMinnesota, wherehereceivedhisPh.D.inPublicPolicyandAdministrationwithafocuson leadership.HehasservedasCEOoftheWSSC,andhasworkedfortheUSMintandthe BureauofEngravingandPrinting.In2013,AndrewbecametheGeneralManagerfor theSouthCoastWaterDistrict.Inthiscapacity,AndrewhelpstheBoardofDirectors overseepolicy-making,financialstewardship,rate-setting,capitalprograms,andlong- termplanningfortheDistrict.Outsidetheoffice,Andrewlovesplayinggolf,jogging, expandinghiscoincollection,andreadingaboutleadership.Formoreinformation, checkoutandrewbrunhart.net. </p>