Think BIG, Act Small: Reflections on POGO Retreat 2017

 In POGO Partners™

We have just recently returned from the annual POGO Physio team Retreat at Kingscliff.

Our retreat’s theme for this year was Grow(th).

Theme for 2017 Retreat: Grow(th)

The theme struck a chord with a deep responsibility I have felt in my 11years as a business owner, that is to grow.  While it makes sense that I would value growth as important to our organisation and the POGO Physio business, it is actually the growth of myself both professionally and personally, and those who I lead that I feel the greater responsibility around.  I have long harboured an ambitious vision for POGO Physio and I recognise that my ability to lead well or otherwise, sets the organisational ceiling and climate at large. I find this responsibility to grow for the organisation’s sake sobering, challenging, but also exciting.  If I am not growing than I am directly limiting the very growth of not only the organisation but also those who I lead. The thought of stunting someone’s growth and development because of my own inattention (intentional or otherwise) to growth is not one I enjoy entertaining.

A stirring

As I set about preparing the opening address for our 2017 Retreat a sub-theme kept on stirring. The sub theme being that it is not the big things, big thinking, big dreams, big moves, big actions that result in success, but rather the small things. The small actions, 1%’ers, that when executed on with diligence and discipline, they seem to have a compounding effect that makes the big things entirely achievable and also probable.

I settled on the catch cry for my opening address of ‘Think Big, Act Small’.

Think BIG, Act Small

Here are the key points of my opening address that I shared with the team:

  1. Big actions don’t achieve big things

We think big actions achieve big things but  they don’t. It’s the daily little things that are easy to do, and also easy not to do that make a difference. As an example Michael Phelps (pictured below) the most decorated Olympian of all time (28 Olympic medals: 23 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze) dreamed as a child of making the US Olympics team. Phelps started swimming at age 7 and first competed in the Olympics at age 15. Michael’s success was birthed and then fostered by not just dreaming big. Michael’s success was birthed by the the small and often unseen diligent actions completed each day.


Swimming: Michael Phelps, Portrait Time Inc. Studios, Credit: Simon Bruty













  1. Success is not glamorous

We glamorise success but it always comes back to basics. Success is not sexy, it is sweat. Success is not glamorous, it is gritty. It is commonplace to attribute great success to big things. We like to believe that success comes from a break through, a magical moment, being extremely talented , lucky, fortunate etc, success is glamorous! In Michael Phelps’ example success was found in dreaming about winning Olympic medals or becoming the greatest Olympian of all time. Rather Phelp’s success was found in the ‘unsexy’ early starts to the day, completing the full allocated session from the coach, backing up for multiple sessions day in day out. For Phelp’s success was about winning the day, the training session, the turn, the last gym rep.

We think big actions achieve big things but they don’t. It’s the daily little things that are easy to do, and also easy not to do that make a difference.


  1. Success is about simple productive actions repeated over time

The problem with simple actions is that they are both easy to do, and also easy to not do. Take for example the decision of either drinking water or a soft drink. If at the end of the day you decide to drink the soft drink rathe rather than the water, this one act of choosing the soft drink over the water will not harm you in any major way. However make this decision over and over again, and the decision’s effects will compound and add up to a potential health problem with time.

When we realise that success is found in the small repeated actions and we remain diligent over time, big things will happen.

It’s easy to think that big actions will achieve big things, but they don’t.

In order to achieve big things we need to think big, but act small.

Reflection exercise:

Keeping in mind this concept of THINKING BIG but ACTING SMALL:

  • How does it apply to your personal life?
  • Where are you thinking big, but needing to act small?

Coming Up

Next POGO Partners™ post I will carry the theme of thinking big, and acting small further when we explore the effect of the aggregation of marginal gains.


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On my 10th physiotherapy anniversary I sat down to reflect on 10years of my career and noted the top 10 learnings to that date. Here they are My Top 10 Lessons Learnt Through my First 10 years as a Physio

Physio With a Finish Line™,

Brad Beer (APAM)

Physiotherapist (APAM)
Author ‘You CAN Run Pain Free!
Founder POGO Physio
Host The Physical Performance Show

Featured in the Top 50 Physical Therapy Blog

pain free performance Gold Coast physio

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