“In sports, just like in business, each person has a role and there has to be trust between the team to be successful.”
– Susan Francia, MBA, OLY, 2-Time Olympic Gold Medalist
From the book, “The Path to Elite Level Leadership.“
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I met Susan at a reception in San Diego. The seat next to me was one of the last seats open before the program started. After some brief introductions and other small talk, she asked me about my work. I informed her that I was a professor and author focused on leadership development and training. When I explained my leadership development approach as being based on the way athletes continue to train throughout their careers, she informed me the she was an Olympic athlete and coach at a local university. In fact, she was a 2-time Olympic rowing team gold medalist. We kept in contact after the event, and I was able to hear more of her fascinating story during my interview with her during the pandemic.
She currently works in business development for a San Diego biotech company, but that’s not where the story ends. I learned this year that her mother, Dr. Katalin Karikó is a scientist with BioNTech SE whose mRNA research led to the development of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. What a family tree! Read more about their fascinating journey in this ESPN article from this summer.
I’m happy to include Susan’s thoughts on training, coaching and leadership in the book.