Agile Leadership - 5 Tips: This is how companies learn from Olympic champions


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Olympic gold medal winner Francesco Friedrich shows what is important - in sports, in business, in life: to be fit to be agile, to be able to adapt to different conditions agile and to win the race at the decisive moment.

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Theo Bergauer Bergauer_PortraitThe sovereignty expert Theo Bergauer has been active as a coach and coach for personal development and entrepreneurial processes since 25 years.

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What Olympia says about winner types

February 19, 2018. Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. After four runs in the two-man bobsleigh, two teams finish at the same time. It couldn't be more exciting! Series world champion Francesco Friedrich wins the gold medal for the first time with pusher Thorsten Margis and crowns his extraordinary career with an Olympic victory.

A look back: Francesco Friedrich, the 2013 as the youngest bobsleigh champion of all time in history, makes his reputation as a winner all honor.

A bobsleigh ride that's funny ...

... a bobsleigh ride, that's nice! Certainly, if it is crowned with success or even the first time with the gold medal.

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Also in Company In projects, projects often turn into the ice channel in the figurative sense of the word, speed is taken up in the planning phase, and in the implementation, a team steers, as it were, counter to the finish curve by curve. In sports as in business applies: Who wants to emerge from the race for medals, jobs or the project goal as a winner, nothing is left to chance.

Agile guiding

In VUCA-ZIn the face of globalization and digitization, many companies are fixated on short-term results - measurable in hard facts and key figures. For long-term success, however, it is increasingly important to focus on values, culture and employees.

Agile leadership means repeatedly incorporating and exploring different conditions, reevaluating them, and reacting to new ones. As is natural for Francesco Friedrich. Each course comes up with different conditions. The change from the two to the four-man bob wants to be mastered. In the team, flexibility comes first.

Presence and training

Many leadership situations - whether in the bobsleigh at Francesco Friedrich or in companies - are characterized by opposite expectations. To position oneself in these areas of conflict makes up the sovereignty in the leadership role. Leadership means navigating as well as overcoming hurdles and making decisions.

This can only succeed with permanent presence and continuous training. No different from competitive sports. The bob pilot said: “If decisions are made in the interests of the team, they are also secured. In the race we literally have to be able to rely on each other blindly. ”

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Passion and discipline

Francesco Friedrich had to learn that his early victory as the youngest bobsleigh champion was no guarantee of continued success. But he accepted the low of Sochi as a challenge and proved with a lot of perseverance and discipline that he “can do the Olympics”.

"Steering and pushing is just as important as keeping the team on course and enduring pressure to perform," says Friedrich. With strong hands and sensitivity, he created the basis for long-term progress so professionally.

5 tips for agile leadership

This story shows that companies can learn a lot about agile leadership from the Olympic champion. 5 tips.

  1. Mental preparation: Rituals help the athletes to start as a true team and to mentally prepare themselves for victory.
  2. Start-up phase: The start must be right. Even though it takes a lot of effort in the beginning, in the startup phase it helps to set a bar to create the harmony.
  3. Acceleration: When the bob takes off, everyone must be able to get as small as possible. Except for the pilot who steers, all heads duck down. There is blind trust that the pilot knows what he is doing. Everyone does their job.
  4. Subsections: On the bobsled track, split times indicate the course of the race. The pilot knows if they are doing well. Only when a team knows if it is in time and moves forward according to its plan can it change the strategy if necessary.
  5. Home stretch: Often the home straight decides on success or defeat. Only those who manage to keep their concentration up to the end and still give everything on the last stage will be rewarded.

Conclusion: what executives can learn from Olympic champions

In sports, often a lot happens in one season. Even in companies, employees have to adapt to new bosses more often and faster through changing project teams (and vice versa).

The framework conditions are not always ideal, the only decisive factor is how we classify them, how we deal with them, and whether, like Francesco Friedrich, we ultimately grow. Get the gold medal!

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  1. Jens Weinzer

    Here comes finally together what belongs together: Ingenious combination of top management and sports. This connection should be made much more often!

    • Simone Janson

      Thanks, we are happy about the comment!

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