Like many, I spent hours this summer enjoying the feats and activities of the Summer Olympics, and I was especially amazed at the accomplishments of Michael Phelps.
After one race, I noticed something especially Saint Hubert Medal interesting from a performance management standpoint: immediately after completing a race and earning yet another gold medal, Phelps’ swim coach was right there with a couple of words. Were they words of encouragement, of praise, of support? I can only imagine. Throughout other races, I saw this same figure consistently by the swimmer’s side, intently watching lap times, and certainly providing support to one of the greatest Olympians of all time.
The lesson is an obvious one: even the Saint Hubert greatest in our organizations can benefit from our coaching, our performance conversations, and our feedback. Phelps knows how to swim; he has mastered techniques and trained to extreme lengths. Yet, here was his coach, providing support, encouragement, guidance, and/or celebration in the best of times.
Performance conversations come in many versions and at many opportune times. As we witnessed this summer, in most cases the gold medal was won in part because of intensive coaching and instructive feedback. Are you coaching your gold medal employees to reac.
His high school career in Akron, Ohio for St. Vincent-St. Mary High School was well documented. That unbelievable high school playing career led to him being elected to the All-USA team for three different years and the team winning state titles three times. Some of the high school games he played in were televised on ESPN2 and he was also featured on various national magazines at that time.
Instead of going to college after completing high school he entered the NBA draft. The Cleveland Cavaliers had the first pick overall for the draft and used it to draft him. His first year was one of the best rookie years in history. During that year he put up 20.9 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game on average. There have been only three players in NBA history to average more than 20 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds per game during their first year.