Leadership Lessons Inspired by 7 Extraordinary Olympic Moments

7 Olympic Leadership Lessons for Entrepreneurs

The Olympic Games are set to open in London this week, and once again the eyes of the world will be on its best and brightest athletes as they attempt to push the human body to new limits, and remind us that our best human qualities — determination, perseverance, innovation, sacrifice, and camaraderie – know no bounds.

In that spirit, we’re looking back at some of the greatest Olympic moments of the past 20 years, revisiting the lasting leadership lessons they have to offer for you and your business.

2008: Michael Phelps wins the 100-meter butterfly

Halfway through his seventh event in Beijing, it seemed as through swimmer Michael Phelps was destined to come up just shy in his quest for an all-time record of eight gold medals in a single Olympics. Amazingly, he fought back to chase down Serbia’s Cavic and close out a miraculous finish, winning the race by the slimmest of margins — .01 seconds — and keeping his dream alive.

Entrepreneur Lesson: No goal is impossible with the right mindset. Phelps could’ve easily been bested in the neck-to-neck finish, but instead, he willed himself past his competition and into Olympic lore. If you want to succeed, don’t lose sight of your goals. Stay unwaveringly motivated.


OpenView, the expansion stage venture firm, helps build software companies into market leaders. Through our Expansion Platform, we help companies hire the best talent, acquire and retain the right customers and partner with industry leaders so they can dominate their markets. Our focus on the expansion stage makes us uniquely suited to provide truly tailored operational support to our portfolio companies. Learn more about OpenView at openviewpartners.com.
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