We often use a term without really giving thought to its origin or how that expression is relevant to our current way-of-life.
Lately I have been thinking about how often we hear about someone ‘taking it to the next level’ or ‘raising the bar’ when talking about being a successful entrepreneur. That led me to Wikipedia where I looked up some Track and Field information.
The person in the photo on the right is not Dick Fosbury. Rather, it is a 2004 Olympic champion performing the "Fosbury Flop"—a technique that Dick created forty years earlier—in a competitive high jump meet.
In the mid-1960s, Fosbury was a student-athlete at Oregon State University. Wanting to set himself apart from the pack, he took advantage of a new ‘landing technology’ to change the way he went over the bar. Prior to this innovation of going over the bar ‘backwards,’ the athletes jumped into sawdust and could easily have been seriously injured using his controversial new way of high jumping. However, that all changed when a higher and softer ‘mattress-like’ cushion was developed for the safety of the sport.
Fosbury took advantage of this opportunity by learning to direct himself over the bar head and shoulders first sliding over the bar on his back which was completely contrary to what had been ever done before. Prior to the ‘Fosbury Flop’, they utilized what was known as the Eastern Cut-Off or ‘scissors’ approach.
Initially, Fosbury became the butt of jokes. That is, until he won the gold medal in the 1968 Olympics and completely changed his beloved sport. Dick’s heretofore weird style soon became the standard as other ‘floppers’ from around the world adopted it.
That’s the history lesson but what does it have to do with you?
You have the power to change and improve the culture in your business by being creative, fearless, hard-working, and passionate about what you do and how you do it.
Dick Fosbury knew that he was on to something special and refused to give up until he perfected it and showed it to the world. He chose to LITERALLY rise above the competition by taking a chance and developing his talent until his became a household name.
Frankly, I have no idea what ‘Fosbury Flop’ idea or concept might become a reality in your particular entrepreneurial situation. But the odds are very high that you do.
If that is the case, my challenge to you is to gather up the intestinal fortitude to develop it and put it into action. By so doing not only will you take yourself to a newer and higher level, but you will be also raising the bar for your industry. You may even become a Dick Fosbury-like trendsetter!
Bill Sheridan—‘Sheridan Writes’
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