Past Performance is not an Indicator of Future Results

This phrase is so ubiquitous in our industry, we can tend to forget how true it is in all of life.

Its truth was on vivid display at the Olympic pool over the weekend: the “world’s greatest swimmer” didn’t even medal in his 2012 Games debut event, despite everyone’s expectations (based on past performances). Michael Phelps himself said after the event that he had just not done the work to win the 400IM event.

On the other hand, Ryan Lochte, who came into the Olympics as something of an underdog compared to Phelps, earned a gold medal in the race. Lochte had significantly ramped-up his daily training schedule over the past four years and said before the event he knew no one in the world was training harder than him.

Clearly, talent alone and past success do not guarantee future success. Likewise, past disappointments and failures are not a permanent barrier to future success. What we do, day in and day out, is what influences future results.

What are you doing today to prepare for your business success next month, next quarter, and next year? Don’t let busy-ness (or mental fog from staying up too late watching the Olympic competition) distract you from doing what is most important. Take action today.

2 Responses to “Past Performance is not an Indicator of Future Results”

  • Rohit Gupta says:


    Great point! It is amazing that Michael Phelps, perhaps the greatest swimmer of all times, didn’t even medal. He knew that he hadn’t trained enough for the IM event — and you know better than most about training for swim events — I am wondering, what was he banking on? His talent?

    We do the same all the time: we bank on talent or whatever without the required preparation.

    Thanks for posting.



    • Paul Kingsman says:

      Great to hear from you, Rohit. I faced a similar situation in 1990 – I held the Commonwealth record in my event and was supposed to be a shoe in for the gold at the Commonwealth Games, which were in my home town. The truth was I got distracted in my build-up – with sponsorships, wedding plans, etc. The distractions were easy to justify, and I did think my previous position would pull me through. It can be tough to be brutally honest with ourselves, but the depth of preparation does show at performance time! Thankfully we don’t all have to perform on a world stage!

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