We have all learned about superhumans from the London Paralympics this year. Marc Woods, Paralympian swimmer and multiple gold medallist, lost a leg to cancer and has used his experience to outperform most other able-bodied people.
A large part of his success is attributable to his approach to life. Woods never wants to achieve anything less than his full potential. Now he is a motivational speaker, and his clients include BMW, Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson.
The secret to Woods' success comes down to a combination of different factors: living life proactively, taking personal responsibility, setting goals, understanding what motivates you and then finding good role models. Another is resilience - perhaps the quality most pertinent to the pressurised situation many charity managers find themselves in. Being resilient means being able to bounce back quickly, and everyone can benefit from improvement - even those who are mentally tougher than others.
Resilience can come from preparing for the worst-case scenario, adapting quickly to a new reality and then getting on with it. To get the medal positions, you have to be a podium thinker.
Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today