What’s the correlation between high-performance sport and leadership in an organization?
It’s about being authentic and being yourself. Which translates as being honest and true with yourself. Related to that is the area of personal discipline around hard work, passion, drive and application. They all form the DNA. These can’t be taught. However they can be improved upon. People can achieve goals provided they are honest in putting in the hard work to be the best version of themselves and not try be someone else.
In corporate this comes through a lot as comparisons. All of which is in one’s head. It’s key to know how to be oneself. Simply because, be it sport or work activity, it has to be done by oneself without help from anyone else. Which means being able to know one’s strengths in order to play well. That’s the critical aspect. Being yourself and being true to your potential without comparing with others mentally.
Taking the analogy from cricket, as in going out to bat in front of a huge crowd, you are just you. All you have is your partner and yourself and the ability to leverage of that teamwork. However, at the end of that day when you get back. It’s only you and the person you see in the mirror. Which is yourself. That’s where accountability to self comes in. You know your game best and you know if you have really applied yourself and given it 110% through effort and application and committed to the opportunity. It’s about taking ownership of what you do and don’t do and being accountable for that.
The learning from sport that really applies in corporate environment is in the focus. As a great leader you’ve got be focused on giving the credit to the team when things go great and when they don’t take personal responsibility for that. The other learning is that of taking care of the process. Doing that ensures the outcomes are achieved.
Feedback is another area that helps performance. In feedback it’s key to remember to accept all feedback and not to pre-judge. Then deciding which bits of the feedback to keep, which to discard and which to feed-forward. This last bit is about specific feedback around what they person wants to do. This is where opinions are cast aside and constructive inputs are provided on what one is working on so as to be of help.
The key takeaway in all this is about knowing what is it that I need to be doing and knowing to be better, at what I do, each day. In this process the self-discipline aspect plays a huge role and is what can be taken from sports into corporate leadership performance.