Living Above the Line - Why Geraint is a Champion

Geraint Thomas — what a champion. Supportive of a teammate and gracious in defeat. 

As Michael Mortiz commented in his FT column “ cannot help but feel that the real winner of the race was the man who came second…. He has lodged himself in the hearts of sports fans by helping Bernal win…... Politicians might want to study Thomas’s attitude”.

After the race finished Geraint made no excuses, no hints of how podium places could be different or even complain about the weather and conditions. 

I am very lucky to work with business coaches Gary Keating and Jane Carvell of ActionCOACH Bristol. Something we often talk about is living above the line or living above the point of power. 

Imagine a horizontal line drawn across the middle of the piece of paper. We can choose to operate either above the line or below it. In simple terms being above the line is taking personal responsibility and being below the line is using denial, blame and excuse.. 

  • Operating above the line is open and positive. It’s about ownership, accountability and responsibility.

  • Operating below the line is closed and negative. It’s about denial, excuses, defensiveness and blame.

It sounds so simple but in practice to stay above the line is tricky. Over time, you start to catch yourself using negative language and excuse and more importantly start to recognise the circumstances where you fall into a closed and negative mindset. 

So be like “G”. Stay above the line. Celebrate the success of others, be generous, gracious and a true champion.