Tahmina Kohistani is not likely to win any medals. Her best time in the 100 yard dash is 3 seconds off the championship pace- and she will not have the advantage of running in shorts and an athletic shirt. She is the lone female athlete from Afghanistan. The fact that she is in London, despite the vitriol and abuse she suffered through training is a testament to her courage, and that of her coach.
For those of us who blog in the business world about leadership, it is easy to forget that most real leadership happens outside of corporate meeting rooms and factory floors. And there have been hundreds, if not thousands of entries about leadership lessons from the Olympic games- most examining dedication, focus and discipline Here however is a story of courage and attitude. For all the complaining and political brouhaha about the games- perhaps they are still worthwhile if only for stories like this.
Think you know something about courage and dedication? Read this story in the London Telegraph.
There are other controversy’s about women athletes as some are competing who do not have the skill as a matter of inclusion for women. There is a heated debate about Saudi women competing in the judo competition that centers not only on their junior skills, but the impact of a headscarf on safety and competitive fairness. But given that they are from a country where most women are not allowed to participate in or even watch sports, I count it a victory that the discussions are even taking place.
I tend to stay away from social issues and politics here- except as they relate to issues of leadership. But here is proof positive that a suit, title, corner office or even an Olympic medal is not necessary to lead.