As the sparkle of London 2012 fades into memory, millions of people nevertheless continue to feel uplifted and inspired. This is what happens when we have the privilege of witnessing excellence in action, and even more so when we hear record-beating athletes speak of their journeys. Not only do they impress with their humility, their vulnerability and their humanity. They tell too how they have reached their pinnacles of success through focus, unrelenting hard work and self-belief, often struggling with lack of resource, and invariably paying tribute to those who have supported them on their gruelling journeys as well as the crowds who have cheered them on. Think Mo Farah, who came to Britain from Somalia as a refugee at the age of eight, and who won the men’s 5000m and the 10,000m. Or Sir Chris Hoy, six-time cycling gold medallist. These are people who will inspire at least the next generation of Olympians. And their qualities are qualities of top-performing leaders: they know where they are going and how they are going to get there, strengthened by a clear vision. They inspire and motivate those around them. They are satisfied with nothing but the best they can achieve, and in particular by a standard of excellence that is yet unachieved and unproven, and which they fix on unwaveringly as their target.