Silver and Gold

Team Canada pose after defeating the U.S. in the women's hockey gold medal game at the Vancouver 2010 Winter OlympicsI watched the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics women’s ice hockey gold medal game this morning.

As a Canadian and a hockey fanatic, of course I was overjoyed that the Canadian women won the gold medal with a convincing and dominating win over their biggest rivals, the U.S. women’s squad. All of the team’s training, effort and resiliency paid off. All of their hard work. Their dedication. Now, finally, they can head to the podium to receive their reward. That reward? Something more important than the medal itself—the pride and thanks of a nation where hockey approaches religion. The satisfaction of knowing that, right now, at that very moment, they are the absolute best in the world at what they do.

But what of the losers of that match? The jubilation of the Olympic gold medal winners stood in stark contrast to the sad and somber faces of the American women, many of whom were distraught, tears streaming down their faces beneath their visors. These silver medalists are still, after all, the cream of the crop. As elite as it can get. And it struck me: nowhere but the Olympics is it more apparent that being second just doesn’t cut it.

In this day and age, if you’re not firing on all cylinders, digging deep and giving it everything you’ve got— you won’t be heading to the podium. You’ll be the “also ran.”

Think about that the next time you get cynical about social media and whether or not you should be using it for your business or brand.

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