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I’d Like to Thump Chest Thumpers

I’d Like to Thump Chest Thumpers

by Frank Roche on August 18, 2008

in Performance

Usain Bolt Thumps His Chest
[Photo credit: Daily Nation]

Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the world. He won the 100-meter race in 9.69 seconds. A world record. And I don’t like him.

If you’re a manager or in HR, you shouldn’t either. You see, Usain Bolt is an incredible talent. Perhaps the best sprinter ever. But I’d never have him on my team. Know why? The chest thump saying “Look at me!” when he had 15 meters to go. Showing off. Had he run through the finish line instead of waving his arms and taunting his competitors, he could have done even better. Much better.

Sure, running is an individual sport. But there are lots of people around Usain Bolt who helped him run like he does. Do you think he thanked a single one in the interviews? Even mentioned them? Nope. It was me-me-me. While there’s a place for individual achievement — even extraordinary achievement — on my team, there’s no place for chest thumping. That kind of self-centeredness just doesn’t work in business. Be great. But know what got you there.

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