It is uncanny how the skill sets, strategies and best practices of both the Olympic athlete and effective business leader are so similar. Below I will list 7 common traits...
In a few short weeks, the XXX Olympiad will be held in London. Beginning July 27th through August 12th, I will be cheering for the USA teams to “bring home the gold”.
I was researching what it takes to be an Olympian and was not surprised with the similarities that Leaders need to be successful. Those high standards of professionalism and Gold Medal aspirations lead many to a feeling of perfection. Leaders & athletes need to realize that perfection is impossible and that true leaders and award-winning athletes need to be rational about the “pursuit of excellence”. It is not the individual but rather the team that makes something happen. How we compete in the field of sports or in business ultimately tells us a lot about our individual character.
With that said, here are the similarities that Olympian medalists and world class business leaders share in common:
- World Class Athletes and Top Business Leaders are strategic and they set realistic goals
- Both Olympians and effective Executive Management envision not only the short term consequences but also the long term when making decisions.
- Fort those Olympians in a team sport, the similarities are striking in that both seek strong ownership and engage in development of their teams to outperform the world’s best. Even those athletes who compete in individual sporting events put their team in front of their own personal goals. Similarly those executives who are leaders do not suffer from egotism but rather are extremely humble and gracious.
- Both Athletes and top business executives are constantly learning and developing their skill sets.
- Retention rates of the team are well above the norm and the team is motivated and inspired to make it happen! The team holds together and has a unified purpose due to the commitment and dedication of their athletes/employees adopting a common vision.
- When the bell rings, they answer! They perform when it matters! They deliver the gold!
- They know their competitors better than the competitors know themselves!
Go for the gold!