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Peter Vidmar - Speaker, Champion, Author
I was at the home of Peter Vidmar, Olympic Gold Medalist, a few weeks past for a dinner party. I had never met Peter before but I remember 1984 when he earned a “perfect 10” on the pommel horse at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and led the US team to its first gold medal and unexpected upset of the Chinese team. I was a junior at the University of Utah but headed for L.A. to work as a security officer at the Olympics. For me it was a memorable experience to be around the games, for Peter, it was the pinnacle of his gymnastics career and provided the platform for his professional career.
Peter and I were talking about leadership and the motivational and inspirational speaking engagements he provides to corporate meetings and trade shows. Peter was kind enough to let me take his book, Risk, Originality & Virtuosity: The Keys to a Perfect 10.

Risk, originality and virtuosity were the elements and basis for scoring in gymnastics in 1984. Vidmar has taken these elements and applied them as important ingredients for success in any endeavor. He shares his athletic and life experiences and uses the elements of ROV as measurements of achievement and has trademarked this concept.
As I read through this insightful and entertaining book, I found myself relating risk, originality (innovation) and virtuosity (simple and elegant execution) to business and leadership. Vidmar shares engaging experiences and lessons to illustrate how one must apply these principles to reach greatness in business and life.

Memorable and inspirational for me was when Peter described how, in the lastvidmar.jpg major meet only a few months before the Olympics, he fell  to flat on his face from 12 feet in the air after missing the bar on the high bar exercise. From that embarrassing defeat on the world stage, he went on to successfully complete that same move and win the first men’s individual all-around medal in U.S. Olympic history.

I also related to Vidmar's appreciation of the famous statement by Theodore Roosevelt, “Man in the Arena.” A plaque with this quote has sat on my desk since it was given to me just after I graduated from high school.

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Vidmar knows leadership. He was the USA men's gymnastics team captain in 1984 and inspiring his teammates to America's first team gold medal with a stunning victory over the defending world champions, the People's Republic of China. He went on to win the silver medal in the individual all-around competition and then there was that perfect score of 10 and gold medal on the pommel horse.

Peter, looking fit enought to compete, now travels the world helping organizations to motivate employees, improve morale, and encourage new ways of thinking, using his effective ROV strategies. Successful Meetings Magazine listed Peter as one of the top ten corporate speakers in America.

1 Comments/Trackbacks

» Hal on Peter Vidmar's Leadership from MidMarketMaven
Hal Halladay, author of LeaderNotes, posted eloquently today on Peter Vidmar's book Risk, Originality & Virtuosity: The Keys to a Perfect 10. I couldn't be less athletic, but I love a good sports metaphor.  The book's title is a reference... [Read More]

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