Tipsheet: Olympic Tin Medal

Olympic Tin Medal

Go for Gold! There have been miles of newsprint written on the
Olympics, the athletes, their training, and their gold medals. To achieve their
success, the athletes worked hard – very hard – for years. They sacrificed years
of their life, they had to forego many "normal" growing-up activities,
and they often had to make difficult relationship decisions – just to chase
their dream.

If they had the potential, and they were single-minded in
achieving it, and if everything was perfect on the day of their event, then gold
was theirs. A lifetime of work recognized.

At the same time, there have been no shortage of people who find
it far easier to criticize, trivialize, or characterize the Olympics as a
failure. These tin medal armchair athletes need not devote their life to their
goal, nor do they need any real training. In fact, it is so easy to damage
people, organizations and events that everyone can get into the game: just post
your blog, or your Facebook status, or Tweet, and the damage can be multiplied
everywhere… forever.

Newspapers have always felt a need to answer beyond their
shareholders, and be accountable to the public at large. The access that
reporters were granted, their role in holding our elected officials accountable,
and their ability to broadcast a particular worldview were part of a sacred
public trust that had to be earned each and every day. Many people and
organizations who use Social Media need to consider this concept as well, before
they choose to broadcast their opinions.

This week’s action item: Look back over your
posts from the last year, and decide whether they are authentic,
well-considered, and constructive. Then answer the question: when you post
online, are you Going for Gold, or Trying for Tin? No one remembers the
complainers, but a gold medal lasts forever.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to
to register.

Randall Craig

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Randall Craig has founded several successful start-ups, held a long-time position at a “big-four” consulting firm, and was an executive at an American public company. He currently serves as the 108 ideaspace CEO and chief strategist. Randall has been advising on digital strategy since 1994: he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail’s GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations.

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