What a magic moment! When six leading speed skaters in the Olympic final fell and Steven Bradbury shot through to take Australia's first gold - even he couldn't believe it.
The whole of Australia cheered and promptly adopted him as their accidental hero - You Beauty!
As for his personal fame - "Doing a Bradbury" is already part of our dynamic language. His achievement has been included in all Bill Clinton's speeches around Australia and probably will be part of Bill's presentation on the celebrity speaking circuit for years to come.
Steven Bradbury is now a marketable commodity with organizations competing for his endorsement of their products.
Why? Simply because they understand that there's a lot more depth to Steven Bradbury than a lucky accident.
Let's consider how he came to be in that Gold Medal final race in the first place.
In order to be in that race, he had eleven years of international competition in speed skating. It was his fourth Winter Olympics. Yes Fourth! Albertville 1992; Lillehammer 1994; Nagano 1998 and Salt Lake City 2002.
At the 1984 Winter Olympics he won Australia's first Bronze medal as part of the speed skating relay team.
He has come back from major injury, including 111 stitches in his thigh (1994) and a broken neck (2000).
He had to qualify in Australia to gain a place in Australia's team.
Then he competed in the heats and semis against the best speed skaters in the world, just to be in that final race.
Steven Bradbury did not get there by accident, but by hard work and dedication.
But what of the actual race - was the win an accident?
I recall an interview shortly after the race where Steven Bradbury said that he was holding back because he expected the front runners to fall.
And they did!
The years of competitive speed skating allowed him to spot potential trouble and wait for his opportunity - judgment and experience combining for the right decision. Add the skill of avoiding disaster and bingo … an "accidental Gold" medal - Australia's first.
COULD YOU DO A "BRADBURY"?
If you think about your life, your sports, your business, there are some big lessons to be learned from Steven Bradbury.
The first is that you don't accidentally win a Gold Medal. You have to be in a position to win, have the ability to win and the experience and judgment to take advantage of the situation if things go wrong for your competitors.
Let's apply this to your business.
1. Are you in the race?
* Is your product up there with the leaders nationally, internationally?
* Are you in the final with the top players?
Have you got all the elements of the marketing mix right - PRODUCT (up with best); PRICE (competitive); PLACE / DISTRIBUTION (clear, effective distribution channels); PROMOTION (good communication with current and potential customers and a good brand image for your product?
2. Have you done the hard yards in training and preparation?
Is your company, staff, finances and more importantly, yourself, in peak physical
Have you had the problems and setbacks and not given in, but pushed harder until
you made it back to your peak condition?
3. Do you research your competitors and look for ways of out performing them?
Are you "in the know" about your industry, your customers and your competitors'
customers? If one of them were about to fall over, would you know about it in
YOU HAVE DONE ALL THE PREPARATION AND YOU ARE IN THE FINAL…. suddenly disaster …. A major customer goes bankrupt, crippling two of your big competitors financially!!
Can you take advantage of the situation?
Did you hold back a bit on credit because you expected the customer to fall over?
Can you afford to launch a promotion campaign to take your competitors' customers while they are down?
Could you buy a competitor's business for a bargain price and gain a bigger market share?
Could you skate past the fallen bodies, without falling yourself, to take out GOLD?
In short, COULD YOU DO A "BRADBURY"?
Not many of us could!
So - from me and I hope all other Australians, I say - GOOD ON YOU STEVEN BRADBURY - YOU DESERVE YOUR GOLD MEDAL AND IT WAS NO ACCIDENT - YOU ARE A HERO IN YOUR OWN RIGHT - YOU CAN TEACH US ALL SOME IMPORTANT LESSONS, IN BUSINESS & IN LIFE!