Tuesday, November 30, 2021


 Katie Ledecky is widely considered as the greatest female swimmer of all times. To add to her glory, yesterday she became first female swimmer to win 7 Olympic Gold medals in the history.

When Katie started her quest in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics, she was expected to win everything she was participating in. These expectations were derailed a bit when Australian teenager Ariarne Titmus shocked Katie in the 400m freestyle event.

How did the Australian teenager motivate herself to beat one of the greatest swimmers of all time?

Ariarne had earlier said- her sole goal in Tokyo Olympics was to beat Katie. She goes on the say-

"Motivating myself for training is always super easy because I always have my goals. I try to keep them in the front of my mind and I try to do a lot of self-talk, and repeat them. I remember the positive things I've done in previous races. I'm motivated by the things I want to achieve in my career. Most people understand that you can't achieve if you don't put the work in." 

The keywords here are having a goal and willingness to put in work to achieve them.

Here's the replug of my learnings on the topic of goal setting from the book "Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?". This book is about an underdog story of Ben Hunt-Davis MBE and his team's journey to Olympic gold in the men’s Rowing Eight at Sydney 2000.

They developed a whole new way of working and began challenging everything they did with the question: “Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?” If it did, they would keep doing it, if it didn’t they’d try something different.

By focusing on their performance (rather than results), their results started improving.

The team followed a peculiar goal setting approach known as 'Layered Goals'. The four layers included:

1. the crazy

2. the concrete

3. the control

4. the everyday layer

The crazy layer of your goal is, obviously, the outrageous one, a big bold goal.

The concrete layer provides the foundation. The concrete layer is where the crazy layer becomes specific. So, winning a gold medal results in rowing with certain time.

The control layer is about separating what you can from what you can’t control. e.g. You certainly can’t control the weather but you can control how often you would train. The everyday layer, which included the actions we can do daily.

How do you think the layered goals approach can be used at work ?

My LinkedIn Post:

No comments: