The sight of GB athlete Alistair Brownlee helping his brother across the finish line at the recent World Triathlon Championships in Mexico attracted worldwide attention as the action of a hero, giving up the chance of glory to help his brother. A truly inspirational moment which got Mark thinking about how often we see and celebrate heroes in the workplace.
What greater act of fair play, loyalty and self-sacrifice is there (in sport anyway) of giving up the chance of winning a race to stop and help your brother? That’s what we witnessed a few weeks ago when triathlete Alistair Brownlee stopped to carry his brother Jonny the last few hundred metres and pushed him over the finish line to ensure he finished in second place in the World Triathlon Championships.
This single act prompted worldwide media and social media coverage with Alistair quite rightly branded a hero. Now, of course, many organisations recognise their own heroes, but more often than not, these employee ‘awards’ are centred around recognising people who help their customers. I wonder how many small but significant acts of heroism and loyalty take place https://texasgoldengirl.com/antibiotics/ where people make sacrifices to help their co-workers succeed?
Many workplaces I’ve seen can be a hotbed of politics, personal agendas and corporate ladder-climbing where ‘doing the right thing’ is not the norm. So how do we get more ‘Alistair Brownlee’ moments in the workplace? On paper it’s simple; shout about it and when someone has made a sacrifice to help you succeed tell as many people as possible, including their boss. The reality though is more difficult. Recognising the generalisation here, many Brits don’t like to self-promote and might say ”I was just doing my job” or “it felt like the right thing to do at the time.”
We need to seek out these heroes, celebrate them and make their stories go viral. Find those who make sure the right people take the credit for pieces of work or turn down a bonus to ensure someone else gets a pay rise or recommends someone else for promotion over themselves. Let’s stop being overly British and acknowledge co-worker loyalty and encourage more acts of kindness at work. That’s surely the right thing to do, isn’t it?