The top five common traits of great athletes and high-performing businesses

| 3/15/2015
Top traits of high performing businesses

Athletes are today’s gladiators. They work diligently when no one is watching, perform majestically at sporting pinnacles, stay focused as fierce competitors, and inspire everyone to dream and pursue greatness. Yet, not all athletes are victorious; the truly great athletes have certain characteristics that set them apart from the competition, and allow them to succeed beyond all expectations.

A business environment is similar to that of sports – after all, sport itself can be a mega business. So what can business owners learn from successful athletes? What traits can business owners develop that would help them achieve success in a highly competitive market? This article aims to summarize the top five traits of highly successful athletes that can be applied by business owners in their pursuit of greatness.

Drive to succeed

The highest performing athletes have an unwavering desire to be the best, and are willing to put in the effort required to achieve that level of success. They work diligently towards their goals even when the results are hard to obtain. A business must have a similar drive to succeed, and specific effort must be applied toward achievement. Success can be measured by individual parameters – market leadership, social responsibility, industry growth – and the organization must dedicate resources to achieving the desired level of success.

Goals. Strategy. Results.

Most athletes set achievable goals, and reach their desired results through implementing specific strategies. The great ones often have more specific goals and strategies compared to their competition; they go above and beyond the expected effort. To triumph in the business world, businesses must operate on a similar platform – effort aligned with specific goals and strategies to achieve the desired results. It is important to remain accountable to goal achievement, and to reconfigure the strategies if the results are not materializing. Goals should be set at the executive level and communicated to employees on a regular basis.

Team Player

In sport, the great athletes are highly team oriented. They play an integral part within the team, are willing to sacrifice personal glory for team victory, and are at the forefront to praise their teammates. Even in individual sports, each athlete has a team supporting their growth including everything from training to contest preparation and recovery. A business can apply a similar philosophy within its organizational culture. Teamwork within divisions and between employees should be encouraged and rewarded since team efforts, in alignment with organizational goals, will allow for the exploration of new perspectives and greater success towards common goal achievement.

Effective Leadership

Most great athletes have equally great coaches. The best athletes listen to feedback and trust a mentor’s guidance. They apply their coaches’ guidance not only during the game, but during their daily life since it is specific to the athlete’s goals, and guides them towards achieving their targets. Similarly, it is important for a business to have the right guidance to launch itself towards success and run its operations more efficiently. Effective leadership also helps a business assess its progress towards goals, formulate strategic partnerships, and plan for the future.

Power to Inspire

Great athletes inspire generations. They prove to the public that anything is possible if effort is applied towards achieving specific goals and the truly remarkable athletes solidify a legacy. A business must also aim to inspire those within its environment. For example, by incorporating social responsibility within its code, a business may inspire an entire generation of entrepreneurs to pursue success, while being accountable to the environment. The list of qualities that can be taken from high performing athletes and applied by business owners is vast, and most businesses would benefit from these five overarching attributes. An unwavering drive to succeed, goal setting, teamwork, effective guidance and the power to inspire should help any business achieve success.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.