Weekly Business Insights from Top Ten Business Magazines | Week 325
Personal Development, Leading & Managing Section | 3
Extractive summaries and key takeaways from the articles curated from TOP TEN BUSINESS MAGAZINES to promote informed business decision-making | Since September 2017 | Week 325 | December 1-7, 2023
These nine successful CEOs were high school sports stars: Here are the lessons they’ve taken from the pitch to the boardroom
By Orianna Rosa Royle | Fortune Magazine | December 3, 2023
Extractive Summary of the Article | Listen
Dedicating yourself to a sport can get you ahead in life: to the tune of $220,000 more across the course of your career, according to an extensive study of US Ivy League alumni. That’s because the very same skills that are valued on the pitch are also highly desirable in the c-suite. Here’s how nine high-profile leaders have been shaped by the sport they mastered. Presented as direct quotes of these CEOs.
- Focus on what’s ahead, rather than behind. Personally, I’ve always been an avid runner as the sport has kept me grounded throughout my life and focused on what’s up ahead, rather than behind. “I’ve adapted this simple lesson of focusing on the now not just into my professional life, but also into my teammate’s mindsets as we constantly look to focus on how we can succeed in the long-term rather than focusing on the short-term. As we’ve heard, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
- Commit to your personal growth. “It’s more than just physical exercise; cycling was a crucible forging my independence, autonomy, and self-reliance. I was my own team, the only one I could rely on to get on the bike, to keep pedaling, rain or shine. This daily commitment to myself and my personal growth shaped me into the CEO I am today. “Just like in solo sports, in the boardroom I trust my instincts, make swift decisions, and hold myself accountable for the outcomes. The most profound lesson I’ve learned: if you seek consensus with all your decisions, you will very slowly land in mediocrity.”
- You don’t have to be the best. “One lesson I still carry with me (on and off the field) is you don’t have to be the best, fastest, or smartest person in the room to become a leader or to achieve success. Good leaders often find success in assembling the right team, developing a vision and strategy, aligning and empowering team members, and executing together to reach a shared goal.
- Play to win. “I was the co-captain of my high school cross country team where I learned the importance of running as a team and that the amount of hard work and effort you put in on the practice runs when no one is watching is what determines the outcome at the race. I also played basketball in high school and learned the importance of playing to win. If you just play offense or just play defense you will lose, it’s the teams that play both offense and defense well that win.
- The importance of rebounding from failure. “My biggest lesson from my days as an athlete came from my biggest disappointment. As a teenager, I was a promising goalie playing in the Olympic development program, with big dreams to join the national team. With the national coach watching, I played the worst game of my career. “I’ve seen how easy it can be to perform worse than expected “or choke” when it matters most—from important presentations to crucial team meetings—and learned that one key is knowing how to bounce back.”
- Be your team’s motivator. “Leadership is about motivating and inspiring people—just like on a sports team. When employees are tired, the CEO must be energizing. When the employees are negative, the CEO must be positive. When employees are pessimistic, the CEO must be optimistic. “And finally, when employees are stressed, the CEO must be calm. It’s no different than leading a sports team as a coach or player.”
- Being a unifier will never get old
- We before me
- Have the confidence to pull back
2 key takeaways from the article
- Dedicating yourself to a sport can get you ahead in life: to the tune of $220,000 more across the course of your career, according to an extensive study of US Ivy League alumni. That’s because the very same skills that are valued on the pitch are also highly desirable in the c-suite.
- Here’s how nine high-profile leaders have been shaped by the sport they mastered. Focus on what’s ahead, rather than behind – as we do in running. Commit to your personal growth – lesson from bicycling. You don’t have to be the best – an inspiration from softball. Play to win – as we do as a team in basketball. The importance of rebounding from failure – while being an athlete. Be your team’s motivator. – from baseball. Being a unifier will never get old – footbal. We before me – rugby. Have the confidence to pull back – hockey.
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Topics: Leadership, Personal Development, Success