It's Drive, Not Talent, That Sets Champions Apart

Tour de Romandie 2013 2013 - Stage 5 - Christopher Froome

"You have to work out, is this athlete intrinsically driven? Is there that burning desire inside them, to continue to compete, to continue to improve, to continue to go through all the pain and the hard work, the nutrition, the lifestyle, the sacrifices you have to make. If you look at all the great champions … it's not to do with anyone outside, it's what's inside them, they're special in that respect. And if you haven't got that, it doesn't matter how much talent you've got, you're never going to get sustained success."

David Brailsford, Principal, Team Sky (Interview,, Aug 2012)

The Tour De France is currently winding it's way south after an amazing three days in the UK.

Chris Froome of Team Sky is the defending champion and he's aiming to win again. He's worked his socks off for months to be in top condition for this gruelling race. He had the drive to dedicate himself to the training required. When it comes down to the critical moments in the race he will be prepared to suffer, really suffer to beat his rivals. You cannot win this event without going through an awful lot of pain and sacrifice. It requires not only physical endurance but mental and emotional endurance too.

Dave Brailsford's observation on drive could equally apply to startup founders. Startup life is tough. There are highs and lows; winning days and losing days. It takes a driven team to succeed.

When I look back at the successful entrepreneurs that I've met, know or have worked for, one thing they share is drive. This drive and passion sustains their vision, feeds their team and inspires their investors.

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