Generating Agility: Olympic Levels of Confidence

Agility Consulting |

By Tom O’Shea, CMC, Principal

agile olympics

 Every four years, the world stops for several weeks to witness incredible human accomplishment in the highly competitive world of sport and athletics.  We get to learn about real stories involving real people exhibiting great levels of sacrifice, commitment and determination that paved many roads of achievement leading 10,000 athletes to the games.   Drama-hungry TV producers also go to great lengths to capture and project these stories in an effort to broaden the audience appeal and attract non-sport enthusiast viewers too.  Whether the athlete’s participate in individual or team sports, there seems to be at least one unifying characteristic present in all the medal winners … CONFIDENCE.

PistoriusAs the Games wind down to their inevitable spectacular finale, it makes for a good time to reflect upon the many examples and lessons in individual and team performance at the peak.  Possibly one of the most dramatic and poignant examples of personal determination and confidence must be the amazing double-amputee South African middle distance sprinter Oscar Pistorius.  Known as the “Blade Runner” and the “fastest man on no legs”, Pistorius was born without fibulas and had both legs amputated at young age of 11 months.


Pistorius is one of those truly inspirational human stories that helps us reflect and recognize the amazing capacity of the human spirit to face and overcome adversity.  As we read about and imagine a life filled with progressive challenges, it is not hard to see how important the notion of CONFIDENCE must play to make this an Olympic epic story.  We can imagine that Oscar’s self-confidence must have started from the unconditional love, support and involvement of his parents … Henke and Sheila Pistorius.The nature of confidence is somewhat organic in that it is sensitive to the elements in its environment that shapes it.  No doubt, Pistorius must have grown up and developed his sense of possibilities in a “confidence generating” environment created mostly by Henke and Sheila but then also included specialists in prosthetics and materials engineering at MIT and other resources. 

agilemodelIn our AGILE MODEL®, the idea of GENERATING CONFIDENCE is one of the five key DRIVERS that help leaders and organizations become more focused, fast and flexible to succeed in our increasing fast-paced and volatile world where the “bar of success” gets continuously raised. Throughout these Olympics we have witnessed numerous examples of individual and team success with up close and personal vignettes of how these athletes generated their confidence and success.  

Our research has demonstrated that organizations and leaders will generate more confidence throughout their organizations and with all of their stakeholders to the extent they are able to:

  • CONNECT a line of sight between what each teammate contributes to a shared and valued goal.
  • Congruently ALIGN resources, priorities, values and behavior to that shared sense of success.
  • Create the opportunities for all teammates and stakeholders to be and feel ENGAGED, appreciated and essential in the pursuit of the team success.

For those leaders and organizations able to understand and build world class excellence in generating confidence as well as the other drivers in The Agile Model, gold medals of success can be in your future. No doubt that your organizations are facing a multitude of challenges and adversity in this VUCA world. The question remains whether you will be the kind of leader to help them GENERATE CONFIDENCE and enable them to achieve the kind of extraordinary accomplishments like Oscar … It is possible. We are coaches and or architects who can help you build a game plan and support your efforts to operate at this level … contact us at

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