Listen to any UK based punditry at the moment, whether it be radio, TV or Internet based, and you can guarantee you’ll find a debate going on over whether or not there will be an ongoing legacy from the London 2012 Olympics.
The naysayers and doomsday merchants will have you believe that the day after the Olympics finishes, the UK will go back to being… well, a bit rubbish really, and there won’t be a lasting legacy for the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Now, I’ve always believed that there’s a special Circle of Hell reserved for those who turn up after all the work is finished and say, “that sucks”. However, I have even less patience for this brand of oxygen thief than normal.
These people will tell you that London 2012 has been a colossal waste of money, and that everything would have been much better if just 10% of the money had been spent on their favourite cause instead. Well I challenge any of these people to state what would show the world that the UK can deliver large scale, infrastructure projects, on time and within budget – at the same time as lifting the mood of the entire country, for a tenth of what London 2012 cost. Hint: It’s not going to be the provision of disabled, rainbow buses for lesbian, single parent unicorns.
What particularly grinds my gears about these people is the sharp contrast between themselves and the athletes competing at the games. For the athletes its all about what they can build for themselves, given their talent, coaching and other resources at their disposal. For the lobby dossers and soap dodgers it’s all about what the London 2012 legacy will give to them.
Well I’ve got a message for you. If you want an Olympic Legacy then build one for yourself! The athletes have shown you the way, it’s up to you to act!
Take the GB Cycling Team for example. Their coaching staff work on the principle of Marginal Gains. A concept whereby everything it takes to win an event is broken down into parts. Someone looks at each part and says, “how can I improve this by even 1 or 2 percent”. Add all those tiny gains back together and you can make a real difference.
You can do this too! What does it take to be a good developer? Everyone will have their own opinion of course, but it doesn’t matter, it’s your opinion that counts. Whatever it is that you think makes a good developer, take that and break it down into its constituent parts. Examine each of those and ask yourself how you are going to improve them by 1 or 2 percent.
This is your true Olympic Legacy, so claim it! You are like Olympic athletes waiting on the starting line… today is the day. Now, is the hour!