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Business Lessons Learned from the Olympic Games: Perseverance Pays Off

Here’s to the Olympic competitors that have triumphed through great adversity, who have faced defeat and who have gotten up each day to start again with renewed vigor. We will be watching. We will be cheering you on. We will be captivated by your stories, we will feel your losses and we will celebrate your wins. We share the belief that it is never too late to dream. Let the games begin!

5. Perseverance pays off.

Perseverance defines the companies that will last and the athletes that prevail. It divides the wishers from the winners. It produces undeniably powerful endurance in the midst of great difficulty. It can be found in those individuals and businesses that exercise character and quiet staying power, during the unforeseen seasons of adversity.

Speedskater Dan Jansen was favored to win Olympic Gold in 1988. After learning that his sister, Jane, had died the morning of his first race, he fell, and then fell again in his next race. He returned to the Olympics in 1992, and, favored again, failed to win a medal. In the final race of his Olympic career, in the 1994 Lillehammer Games, Dan Jansen finally won gold in the 1,000 meters, a race he was not expected to medal in. He took a victory lap with his infant daughter, Jane.