Franco Marvulli, former track cycling champion, Olympic medalist and multiple Swiss and world champion, has shared his vision of team spirit and leadership on stage during the first day of our sales meeting. Here are some of the tips that he gave on the path to performance, dealing with pressure and overcoming challenging times.
1. You have won several Swiss champion and world champion titles. How did you manage to keep this high level of performance? How important is the team spirit in your discipline and in your perception of Odlo?
Team spirit is one of the keys to success. We have to share the same vision and goals - the right goals, as we have to focus and keep our motivation high. Colleagues also do not have to be best friends but they have to trust each other, and, as I said, sharing a vision obviously strengthens harmony within a team.
2. At the Olympic games, in three participations, you won one medal, a silver one. How went the months after this great win in Greece? How did you deal with pressure and manage expectations from your public?
In Athens, it was amazing. We had reached our goal. We were really aiming at an Olympic medal with Bruno Risi and we won silver. It rewarded months and months of hard work. But we did it. After the Olympics, sports enthusiasts and the people working with us, our families and so on, expected us to win more and more. You have to deal with their expectations and their disappointments. But I was very young at that time (26 years old) and I learned afterwards that most of the pressure actually came from myself. Oftentimes, when you ask yourself who is behind this pressure that you feel, you realize that the answer is none other than yourself.
3. What happened in Beijing at the Olympic games? What coaching or self-coaching techniques helped you get through challenging times and bounce back?
I was preparing the Olympics with younger talents, trying to find the rhythm and preparing the competition. But a few months before the Olympics in China, my coach came to me and offered me to go back on the track with Bruno Risi: I hesitated a lot but eventually decided to team up with him again. But it did not work. It is not possible to win without trust, and we did not trust each other. After Beijing, I had difficult times indeed. But then one day, my coach came up to me and said: "Ok Franco, if you want to give up, to sit and stay down, it's your choice, and I respect that". This sentence helped me a lot. You can only help people who decide to stand up.
4. Odlo employees are achieving new targets as a team every season. What pieces of advice would you like you to share with us all? What secret tips to deal with pressure and to focus on the most important?
First of all… Trusting colleagues and finding solutions together instead of showing them the problems. A team comprises different persons with different skills. Communication and passion are the keys. Also, show your colleagues how hard you work. Last but not least, in Switzerland we say: "only those who burn themselves can inflame others", and I find this to be very true.