1% better every day

At the young age of 21, Chris Nikic has almost 110 thousand followers on Instagram, is an entrepreneur, keynote speaker and is breaking down barriers as he leads by example.

But Chris Nikic is also a history maker!

On Saturday, November 7, 2020 Special Olympics Florida athlete, Chris Nikic, made history. He became the first person with Down syndrome to finish a full-distance IRONMAN triathlon, crossing the finish line in 16.46.09. Watch his NBC interview 

And his motto? 

Get 1% better each day

What an inspiring story! And yes, it is not new – but getting 1% better every day is still a valuable and simple leadership lesson we can be reminded of!

Too often we are aiming for the 100% state of perfection or the ‘big change in an instant’ scenario – especially in today’s turbulent times. Rather, as with Chris, we would do well to stay focused on frequent incremental progress as we reach toward our goals.

As technology evolved into a more agile and incremental development model, leaders of change too need to adapt and become more agile and focused on the 1% better each day mindset. 

While much lip service may be given to this approach, not too many organizations and individuals operate this way.

Looking back is not all bad

We are taught that to move forward you should not look back. But looking back is not all bad – actually sometimes it is a good thing.

We can set our BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) way out in front of us, but it can sometimes become hazy and even demoralizing when obstacles pop up or circumstance and set back blur our vision.

A 1% incremental change may not seem that much in a day. But when we look back after some days, we begin to notice the compound effect of these incremental changes over time – and still not lose sight of our destination.

According to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games website, Chris has been training for this for years and started competing in triathlons when he was 16. He has overcome so many physical obstacles to get to this point. Chris works to be just 1-percent better each day; and that is what helped him prepare for such an epic journey to compete and finish an IRONMAN.

Now consider how many lives Chris has inspired because of this approach. He truly has become a leader by example and a true ambassador for the Games as he leads from the heart, 1% at a time.

Accept the challenge

This very simple but profound approach is not only applicable to change leaders but to all of us as individuals.

So if you feel moved by Chris’ approach and accomplishments, despite all of the barriers and challenges he has had to face, then why not accept his “1% Better” Challenge? Simply head over to his website and check it out.

You can also follow Chris on Instagram

Watch his ‘Anything is possible trailer’

Support the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games

The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games is dedicated to the mission of opportunity for all. We recently had the privilege of chatting to Amy Wise, Chief Development and Marketing Officer for the Games, and Meghan McLean, SVP Sports for the Game – listen to the full podcast here

Support Chris and 4,000 other athletes like him, as well as the 10,000 volunteers committed to making the 2022 USA Games the largest ever. Simply share this blog with your networks, visit the website and engage on their social platforms. 

Watch 2022 Special Olympics USA Games Sizzle video

And don’t forget, lead from the heart and be just 1% better every day.  

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