I hosted an event for friends and colleagues to attend an Indiana Fever WNBA game a couple of days ago. It was Olympics Night, and Fever Olympians Tamika Catchings (winner of Gold medal for US) and Tully Bevilaqua (winner of Silver medal for Australia) were recognized as well as playing the regular season game against Connecticut.
A local sportscaster opined that the Fever undermined their business growth by allowing key players to go to Beijing, play fiercely on behalf of the USA, and return home tired. (First night on the home court, they lost their game).
I can see the point. But is there a bigger point? The American women’s basketball team is defining dominance on the international stage. Australia’s team improves continually in the drive to defeat us. The women who represent us in this sport and many others are breaking barriers that require no subsidies, no legal intervention, no special cases, no special pleading. They take their place on the world’s athletic stage and bring home medals.
For women in business, I think the lessons are clear. Train for dominance. Excel in competition. Delight your clientele.
And by the way, would the lessons be any different for men?