Sir Dave Brailsford became head of British Cycling in 2002. He adopted a fractured program that had only won a single gold medal in its 76-year history. Despite this, Dave decided he wanted British Cycling to take the top place on the Olympic podium one day. However, he also knew that aiming for gold would be too daunting.
As a former professional cycler who holds an MBA, he became fascinated with Kaizen and other process-improvement techniques. Taking this knowledge, he thought about the possibility of applying a theory of marginal gains to cycling. This idea focuses on thinking small, not big, and adopting a philosophy of continuous improvement through the aggregation of marginal gains.
Dave took the chance and then went about breaking down everything they could think of that goes into competing on a bike and improved each element by 1%. They did things like making small improvements to aerodynamics, analyzed the mechanics’ area, hired a surgeon to teach proper hand-washing to avoid illnesses, brought their mattresses and pillows so their athletes could sleep in the same posture every night, and many other similar improvements.
Within two years, Britain’s first-ever professional cycling team won the Tour De France and won four of the five within five years. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the team won seven out of 10 gold medals, and they repeated their success at the London Olympics four years later.
In summary, Dave said, “Forget about perfection; focus on progression and compound the improvements.” A 1% improvement may seem insignificant on its own, but it makes a massive difference over time. Today think about the areas in your life which could use a 1% improvement.
Carlos F. Peña is first and foremost a faithful follower of Christ and a devoted husband and father. Professionally he is a CEO, CMO, certified executive, leadership and life coach, business consultant, author, and entrepreneur for various companies he owns and operates. Over the years, Carlos has served in multiple leadership roles in business and ministry. Carlos is President and CMO of Pumped®, Inc., a brand development and design firm, CEO of Led to Lead®, a leadership, career, and business coaching company, and the founder and creator of the FX3® program. In ministry, he currently serves as Director of Men's Small Groups at Christ Fellowship in Miami, FL, focusing on discipleship. Carlos considers it his life's mission to help men discover and challenge them to be the men God desires them to be.
To learn more about Carlos, visit https://carlosfpena.com