This past weekend, I listened to a sermon about "owning the podium," which was the goal of the Canadian athletes heading into the Vancouver Olympics. The main question raised by the rabbi was this: What happens Monday morning, the day after the Olympics end, when the cameras go away and the world's attention moves on to something else? Life goes on, and you can either choose to live in the past, standing on that same podium over and over again, or you can move forward with new ambitions and new podiums to strive for.
The lessons of this sermon also apply to business. Just think of Motorola, which for six years relived the moment it won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, even as it was beginning its long and painful decline. And now, history has repeated itself with Toyota.
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