What Sports Can Teach Leaders
“Athletics teach you to maximize your strengths, while also asking you to compensate for your weaknesses by relying on the strength of others. [Sports] asks you to embrace and respect the unique skills and talents of your teammates and how what they bring to the table contributes to the overall success of the team.” So says Chris Smith, former college athlete and CEO of Athlete Network.
Writing in Fast Company, Smith says the following lessons, which generate success on the field, build better leaders off it:
Success is a “we” thing – It’s a result of how seamlessly you integrate with teammates or co-workers.
A Diverse Team is Strongest -- Tackling a problem or question from a variety of viewpoints, backgrounds, and perspectives is empowering.
Nobody Wants to Work with a Brilliant Jerk -- Talent will take you places; arrogance, close-mindedness and ego won’t.
We agree. Working toward a common goal and respecting others’ skills is as necessary in business as in sports.
We want to hear! What business lessons have sports taught you? Join the conversation and click "comments" on our Community of Practice Forum.
2/24/2015 01:13:10 am
I think sports do teach you a lot. Sports were not a thing in my house growing up and there were some things I didn't learn because of that. Intellectual things were emphasized in my home and I was successful at pretty much everything I tried. So I didn't learn how to fail at something. With sports you will not always be the best. I was 27 when I learned that sometimes I might fail at something but that I was not a failure. Very eye opening.
2/24/2015 05:39:19 am
What an important insight, Joyce. Never really thought that one through: No matter how good you are and how much you practice and how hard you try -- in sports you learn to lose. Thank you.
2/25/2015 06:29:37 am
So are we saying that one of the key leadership lessons across sports is learning to lose? Really hadn't considered that before this conversation!
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