I run the risk with this post of you thinking that I am going to write about the Tour de France every day. I commit it will not be the case. But after watching today’s race I was truly struck by the scenario that unfolded towards the end of the race and thought that the connection to how we need to think about life was strong enough to make note of it.
To set the context – today was the first stage of the Tour. It is usually a day of high energy and high nerves. The teams are all amped up and ready to ride. Day one – 134 miles (yes a ridiculous distance), with a flat finish to suit the sprinters. And the day unfolded as normal until about 30 minutes before the race was to end when a Team bus attempted to cross under the finish line before and summarily got stuck under the finishing banner. It took 100 Tour de France races to have this happen. Think of it, with all of the experience gained from the years of running the Tour they failed to do what now seems incredible obvious – make sure the race banners are high enough from the ground so that all vehicles could pass under them. So, obvious yet missed. Seems to me that the lesson is, you cannot plan for everything. Sometimes the only way to learn, to get better, to avoid issues is to live through a situation like this one. For about 20 minutes the race was in turmoil, do they move the bus, change the finish line, tell the riders, yell at each other and more. Yes, there was a decent ending, the bus got moved, the finish line was re-instated (the riders were told initially the race would be shortened) and there were a few crashes caused by all of the uncertainty. The sprint to the finish happened as planned and a totally unknown rider won. And day one of the Tour de France is in the record books. Yet……I am sure that no one was happy
What I am quite certain of is that this kind of issue will never happen again. For the next 100 years buses will not get stuck under the finishing banner. But it is not, for sure, the last time that an unforeseen incident occurs and the organizers will need to figure out how to respond. And here is the connection to THPL. It is more important to have all of the right capability (predictable and unforeseen) with you at all points in races, life, work and beyond. But since cannot predict what will happen but we can be ready for how to react. Building resiliency and effective response is the best assurance that the outcome will be optimized even if it does not meet the original plan.
I must say that the drama that went on at the Tour today made watching a live event that much better – it was remarkable to see it unfold and get resolved – life in “living color” indeed !
Loving life and the unpredictability that comes with it.