All ends well with the most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps.
At 31, Phelps is taking his final bow at the Olympics with 28 career medals – 23 gold, 2 silver, and 3 bronze. Even at the end of his career as an Olympian, Phelps never fails to inspire people in all walks of life and basically, anyone can glean insights from him – from the common people to people engaged in infrastructure asset management.
Yes, you read that right. Here are three important infrastructure lessons we can learn from Phelp’s Olympic victory:
1. With success comes preparation.
Success does not come overnight – unless you are that extremely lucky! For Michael Phelps, his Olympic success means years of training and 12,000 calories burnt every single day. Phelps did not just dive in Olympic pools and win. If you think of him as someone with the genes of an Olympian ever since, remember that in the Sydney Olympics, Phelps won zero medals. But then again, he was only fifteen then. Champions are not born, they are made.
This is the same with infrastructure management. Successful infrastructure management plans arise from intense brainstorming and adjustments. Creating a plan alone is not enough. Asset management planners also need to be flexible to changes so that loopholes in the plans are appropriately responded to.
2. Accentuate strengths and overcome weaknesses.
Phelps has his share of positive and negative attributes. He displays much athleticism – but did you know how he got to swimming in the first place? The legendary Olympian actually has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. If not properly addressed, ADHD can cause serious problems to the lifestyle of a person. So, to channel all his excess energy, Phelps started swimming as a child.
This is also true in infrastructure planning. Much time, energy and thoughts are dedicated to forming the right plans to create, develop, rehabilitate or replace public utilities.
In order to accentuate the positive points in your plans, try identifying risks, strengths, and weaknesses.
If the weakness cannot be eliminated, overcome it. Or, do what Michael Phelps has done – use the loopholes in your plans to bring out the improvements needed. That’s channeling weaknesses to accentuate strengths.
3. Choose the right team to get to your goals.
Michael Phelps dives into the Olympic swimming pool alone, but behind his success are a bunch of people who supported him early on in his career until he reached the apex of his success. His mother, Debbie Phelps; his swimming coach, Bob Bowman; his swimming teammates; and his friends and fans are all important pieces of the puzzle.
In infrastructure asset management, the right team assembled from the start can steer the direction of infrastructure management planning to success instead of disastrous failures. A pool of experts in the field create development designs, draft infrastructure asset maintenance ideas and fill in the gaps in existing plans.
PHOTO CREDIT: Google’s Olympic Games Rio 2016 Photos