Roy Gilbert

Simone Biles’ Surprising Olympic Withdrawal Is an Extraordinary Example of Effective Leadership

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Regardless of what happened on Tuesday evening in Tokyo, Simone Biles’ place as the greatest gymnast ever is secure. That she pulled out of the team finals after a bad landing on her vault doesn’t diminish the fact that she does things no other human is capable of. It just means she’s also human.

It also shows that she’s a great leader.

It can be hard to see that lesson because, in the moment, it’s super disappointing. It’s okay to be disappointed. If you’re a fan of watching the U.S. win gold medals, you didn’t get to see that happen. My two daughters and I were up very early this morning to watch a soccer game (which–talk about disappointment– ended in a scoreless tie ), and then the gymnastics team finals.

We wanted them to win a gold medal. Like everyone else, we had high expectations.

Of course, according to Biles , those expectations played a role. “This Olympic Games, I wanted it to be for myself when I came in–and I felt like I was still doing it for other people,” Biles said, after the team finals.

You can certainly have whatever feelings you want about whatever Biles is going through. Almost none of us have any idea what it must be like to compete at that level. Almost none of us understand the pressure placed on elite athletes who perform at the Olympics and carry the weight of the expectations of an entire nation.

The point is, if Biles believed that she wasn’t […]

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