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What business people can learn from athletes

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Because I coach executives as well as athletes, I have noticed there are three lessons business people can learn from athletes:

1. Do what you love. Out of love for their sport, elite athletes are enthusiastic. Enthusiasm to play their sport and to get to the top of their sport keeps them constantly looking for learning opportunities, challenges and ever-greater competition. Their enthusiasm also allows them to develop steady, strong self-discipline which they maintain for a long time — for years. Even when they have reached the professional level and have won accolades, a great athlete will maintain steady self-discipline. Because of love and enthusiasm, elite athletes are able to reach their destination and they have fun getting there.

2. Serious athletes know well the value of teamwork. A sports team is a group of people all working toward a common goal. They understand that within that group of talented people comes increased possibilities for strategies and implementation. Each team member brings a great quality and unique skills to the team. Each is necessary for the overall power of the group. They defer to the coach who sees the best ways to use each one at any given time. A great coach will use each player so they stand out for what they add to the team.

3. A champion team is based on trust. Players work closely together in trust because they have a common goal. They know when even one person is not
One-pointed on that common goal, it will derail a team. Putting team needs ahead of individual needs allows for reaching the goal and, ironically, allows for
Individuals to stand out for their unique contributions to reaching the goal.

Kamala Nellen. Coaching for Champions. Copyright 2012©. All rights reserved.
 

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