Have you ever wondered why many of the successful business managers also win in sports? Is there a link between the motivation methods used in sports and business?
Breaking bad habits, mental coaching and a strong confidence to success is what makes the ‘Winning Mind’ celebrate by closing excellent deals in business and performing like a champion in sports.
Prof. Dr. Gerd Nufer (Reutlingen University) wrote a very interesting essay on this specific subject. I’d like to share with you a few insights…
Since management and sports follow the same objective of achieving highest performance, correlations between these two fields nowadays become increasingly interesting in terms of corporate and business unit strategy.
In all kinds of sports athletes follow the same overall objective – winning. Before the athletes start to prepare for the next tournament or competition, they first think about their dreams and their objectives. In line with their resources they then determine their vision that will lead them through the tough times, support them when they have to suffer from a defeat and reminds them of their dream when they start again. Nowadays, almost every company has a formulated vision that describes two or three main objectives in the future.
However, in many cases these statements are not communicated properly or the employees cannot identify with the values or vision and will not try their best to achieve it.
“Energy and persistence conquer all things” (Benjamin Franklin)
Professional athletes within their discipline are constantly exposed to changes and failure. Especially fast team sports as handball, ice hockey or basketball, could be called “failure games” because of the high proportion of failures in a game. The players are trying to keep the possession of the ball and to create as many goal-scoring chances as possible throughout the whole game. This strategy is associated with a lot of trying and also a lot of disappointment. Nevertheless, the players motivate themselves again after every loss of ball possession and strive to attack the opponent again to regain the ball. Psychological and mental coaching belongs to the athlete’s preparation; it helps to become aware of the possible failure and to deal with it in advance.
Many business organizations as well as politicians do not plan on failure with the resulting
reaction of disappointment, “fear and repression instead of acting strategically”. Actively
managing failure by preparing the organizations and its employees is a highly effective psychological tool.
Given the fact that the business world has already recognized the social importance of sports and athletes and is successfully exploiting it in terms of e.g. sponsoring or testimonial marketing, the next step of looking at sports as an example for management strategies does not seem very far.
Article Source: Gerd Nufer / Ann-Christin Reimers “Looking at Sports – Values and Strategies for International Management”, No. 2011-2, Reutlingen University
As a Sales Manager I was always fascinated by friends and colleagues who trained hard to be fit for all kind of competitions (soccer, tennis, swimming tournaments…) and used the same mindpower techniques in business they were successfully applying in sports. Can you relate to that?
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