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A Business Leader Is Like An Olympic Athlete


How you might ask when I spend most of my life using my head and athletes spend most of their life using their bodies.

The answer is, in many ways, because leaders need almost all the same attributes as athletes.

  • Vision to determine exactly what the goal is

  • Resilience to overcome failure

  • Drive to keep at the top of their game

  • Determination to make tough decisions

  • Feedback from others about how they perform

  • Support from family and friends

  • Motivation to keep knocking in the shots when others have gone home

  • Discipline not to get sidetracked by things that don’t move them forward

  • The skill required for their craft

  • The talent required to understand strategy and finance

  • Mental strength required to invest and grow and branch out

  • A love for what they do
  • Most importantly the leader is the one who puts in the final performance on the field or rather the one who the buck stops with to deliver.

    The challenge for leaders and athletes is twofold - one is because you need to make sure that you are at the top of your game on all of the above to deliver the gold medal and two because winning that medal is contingent on how good the team around you are on those things too.

    An athlete has doctors, physiotherapists, sports scientists, performance nutritionists and nurse practitioners, performance analysts, psychologists and more. You have partners or a finance director, a sales director, an operations director, a purchasing director, a HR director and maybe others in your senior team.

    There is one major difference however between leaders and an Olympic athlete. Olympic athletes are really clear about the importance of others to their success, it was one of the things they repeated time and time again on the podium. Leaders often feel like the responsibility for success is theirs. My view as a leadership expert is that your success is determined by how good your team are.

    Top class athletes would not work with an ordinary team because they understand how that hinders progress and neither should you.

    Action for business: Score you and your senior team out of ten on the attributes above and if any of your team are less than a 9 it will be affecting your business performance.

    Don’t tell me show me.

    At The Leader Centre we understand that it takes a leap of faith to work with a business you haven’t worked with before and that when your senior people are already busy it can feel like added pressure to take time out for training and development.

    The problem with that is that when you don’t invest in training and development more of the pressure falls on you and your people and your business fall behind.

    So we take that leap of faith with you and instead of just telling you what we do, we show you by offering half a day’s training for your senior team at our expense.

    On that half day we show you how your business can achieve more and how senior people can reduce their stress by doing less than they are now.

    To book your session simply get in touch via our contact page.

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