How to keep the Olympic flames burning? Be a cheerleader

Since Danny Boyle’s spectacular opening ceremony 2 weeks ago, Olympic fever has spread across the nation with epidemic gusto. There have been highlights and lowlights but one thing that has consistently stood out, has been the Olympic crowd. If medals were awarded for being a crowd, Gold would surely go to the 80,000 exuberant and energetic Olympic crowd.

They celebrated not just the British athletes but also other athletes, with some examples being:

  •  ‘It definitely woke me up and helped me get the energy to compete. The crowd were just amazing’ American high jumper Brigetta Barrett
  • ‘This crowd has been unbelievable’, Essex’s Andrew Osagie
  • ‘..seeing the support like that, it’s just an amazing experience’, Sarah Attar, the first woman from Saudi Arabia to compete in track and field at the Olympics. Who despite finishing last received a standing ovation as she crossed the finish line from hundreds of spectators.
  •  ‘If it wasn’t for the crowd it wouldn’t have happened’, Mo Farah attributed his 10,000 m win to the amazing response of the London crowd along with other gold medallists such as Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford
  • Double gold medal winner Usain Bolt was rewarded him with a standing ovation and took snaps of the crowd as he retained his Olympic 200m

How wonderfully uplifting, inspiring and supportive it must have felt to have 80,000 people cheering and willing you to do your best, regardless of whether you are winning, losing, a British or a non British athlete. I am left wondering come Monday 13th, would will they be cheering on? ‘They’ are of course – You, me, friends, neighbours, colleagues, employers, employees…..

Could the generous spirit and support shown by ‘we’, the Olympic crowd be replicated outside the stadium? I believe that if we all became ‘cheerleaders then we can keep the legacy going. How wonderful it would be if we all continued to be supportive and inspirational to those around us – at home, at work and in our communities.

How can we ‘cheer’ those on around us? Here are 8 very simple things that we do:

  1.  Show a genuine interest in those around you
  2.  Be approachable, a good listener, a sounding board for others
  3.  Notice what others are doing, where they might be struggling and offer your encouragement
  4.  Give your unconditional support
  5.  Be enthusiastic in your approach
  6.  Let others know that you value what they do
  7. Provide the conditions for others to thrive and acknowledge  their progress
  8. Give praise when things go right  and acknowledge successes however small

Go on….be a cheerleader for your family, your friends, your colleagues, your staff…

What else would you add to the above? How are you ‘cheering’ those on around you?

 I work with leaders to develop and communicate their leadership brand, with women who are progressing their leadership and with those who are leaving employment to run their own businesses. I also help teams to become engaged, energised and high performing. I love working with people who want to flourish and create purposeful and fulfilled lives. Connect with me @verawoodhead and on LinkedIn


About verawoodhead

I'm an executive coach, leadership facilitator and learning & development consultant working with managers and leaders to develop the skills and behaviours to inspire performance and drive results; achieve promotion ; make successful career changes, be resilient and thrive at work. Within organisations, I help to facilitate better conversations, design learning interventions which deliver practical and lasting solutions aligned to business strategy and goals. Connect with me on Twitter @verawoodhead
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10 Responses to How to keep the Olympic flames burning? Be a cheerleader

  1. Jo Royle says:

    Believe in people more than they believe in themselves! It helps them to push through their comfort zone knowing you believe they can and they are supported by you. My blog ‘whose light are you rekindling?’ talks about just that

    • verawoodhead says:

      Thank you Jo for the addition and for sharing your blog. Your question is a very powerful one – ‘How often do we limit people by deciding what they’re capable of; by holding them in their comfort zone; by not believing in them?’ This is one of the reasons that I became a coach – to practice that concept that the ‘client is resourceful and has the answers’

  2. Following my recent visit to the Olympics I totally share your sentiments Vera. As well as the fantastic talent of the athletes I applaud the talents of the volunteers who were so organised, energised and energising and sincerely enjoying themselves – even those who hadn’t got tickets into the event.
    I would also add, get out of your head and follow your gut as sometimes I believe we can overthink things and just giving or doing for another in the moment can make such a difference.

    • verawoodhead says:

      Totally agree with you Jan about the volunteers. From what I have read in the press and seen they have been remarkable. Love the addition of ‘following your gut’, especially for someone like myself who is naturally reflective and analytical.

  3. Tilla Brook says:

    My addition would be to always hold in mind who this person is at their very best. When we see the best in someone it allows them to be more of that.

    • verawoodhead says:

      Hi Tilla, you always have such wisdom to share, thank you. I like the 2 elements of your response: seeing the best in someone…and what it then does…allows them to be more of that. Brilliant

  4. Jamie says:

    Love your list of 8 simple things you can do!

  5. qu2leeds says:

    Great post. Yes being positive and an encourager can make a world of difference to people around you.

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