Head down – it’s in the details


This is the view from the Athlete’s village in the Welcoming Ceremony area …. when you look down.  As a 2010 Vancouver Olympic volunteer I’ve learned a lot about details, alot about looking down.

I thought I was a detail person to start with.  I had nothing on the Olympics.

Names on athlete’s participation certificates are double and even triple checked.  Processes, like distributing mail, have multiple forms to fill in.  Allocating Victory Ceremony tickets for non-accredited participants takes a looooooooooonnnnnnnnggggg time.  I created the form (with multiple columns to check off) to prove it.

Allocating complimentary tickets to sporting events to the National Olympics Committees takes even longer.

As volunteers we have our heads down, focused on details, minutia, routines, schedules, counting medal pouches over and over, adding up numbers, double checking, triple checking until we’re all but cross eyed.

This so the athletes can look up.  Look to gold.  Look to shaving off a few hundredths of a second.  Look to making a difference on the world stage.

What do you look down at?  What’s your view of the details?


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2 Responses to “Head down – it’s in the details”

  1. Stefa Katamay Says:
    March 11th, 2010 at 7:31 am

    And it is an understanding of the details that makes for great leadership. Whereas my own experience as an Olympic volunteer had my head down dealing with minutiae, what impressed me is how National Olympic Committees kept on top of the details while not losing sight of their vision for achievement at the Olympics and for development of sport in their nations. The work required to execute the details was accepted, not resisted, which fed into a positive working environment.

    “Vision without action is a daydream; action without vision is a nightmare.”

  2. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    March 13th, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Hi Stefa
    A delicate balance – keeping an eye on the details AND looking up to see the bigger picture. I like your quote btw. To me action without a vision is mere busy work.

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