How Leadership Shapes an Olympic Team

Darrin Steele, CEO, USA Bobsled and Skeleton

Darrin Steele, CEO, USA Bobsled and Skeleton

Darrin Steele is a busy person. His team is off in February to the Winter Olympic Games in PyeonyChang.  Yet, he took the time to chat with me.

It was evident he has a strong commitment to understanding people. His experiences at The Home Depot and as a former Olympic bobsled team member in 1998 and 2002 have helped to shape his leadership and are a big part of what makes his "family work”.

Here are a few things that really resonated with me:

- Understanding and listening to people to understand their drivers and to be able to tap in to them.

- There's a delicate balance of performance and culture. What do we want our team to look like? Of course, high performers/high belief in culture. Unfortunately that's not always the case; it's the others who do not show up that way and how do they align with team values and beliefs.

- They've had to deal with the sudden, tragic death of Steve Holcomb, their veteran team leader and how the team and organization has responded. Darrin says, "we're deeper and more competitive now".  As Darrin said, "while it seemed shallow to think about our sport, they "set" permission to be happy again and continue Steve's legacy of greatness." 

- Strategy isn't always apparent to athletes. Darrin talks about his working experience at The Home Depot, learning how to uncover opportunities and the parallels for athletes.

- Learning from failure puts us in a position for continued improvement and success. Don't be risk adverse.

Take a moment to listen our chat. There’s much to be gleaned from Darrin’s insights in to life, performance at the highest levels and the ingredients for individuals and teams to achieve success and fulfillment. The leader in Darrin is evident in such a self-effacing way.

Wishing Darrin and USA Bobsled and Skeleton safe travels and success.