The Rise of the Business Athlete

Business would be easy if it weren’t for other people and the challenges surrounding people management are a real part of every business owner and manager’s daily struggle. If you are constantly asking yourself – How do I keep my team engaged and on board? I invite you reconsider the way you manage your people.

Throughout my 30+ years in business, it continues to astonish me how unaccountable grown adults can be for their own actions. Time and time again I came across cultures of negativity, defensiveness and finger pointing. To combat this, I quickly realised I need to draw on my experience competing in and coaching high performance sporting teams.

As business owners and managers, we need to encourage our people to look at every day with the same attitude as an elite athlete and WANT to be better. But how?


If you are focused on developing a team of self-managed individuals your people will take responsibility and accountability for their own actions and choices and encourage their colleagues to do the same. They will choose exceptional over good every day of the week.

Athletes are experts in the field of self-management. They know their intrinsic and extrinsic motivators intimately and understand how to get the most out of themselves in order to release their untapped potential. They recognise that their success rests entirely on their own shoulders.

There are endless qualities instilled into elite athletes that translate into the day to day operations of any organisations. Some of the fundamental ones include;

5 Traits of a Business Athlete

  1. Self-Awareness – the ability to get the most out of yourself by intimately understanding your own key drivers, strengths, blockages and challenges.

  2. Confrontational – ability to address any situation with manners, professionalism and clarity, regardless of fear of offence or negative reactions

  3. Dedicated – focused and loyal, they never take their eye off the main objective or waiver off course

  4. Positive – the ability to focus on the positive in every situation no matter how challenging and block out negative internal thoughts.

  5. Self-Managed – accountable and take responsibility for their own actions, they are self-motivating and know how to manage themselves effectively.

Businesses can learn a lot from successful sporting teams and elite athletes and by translating their key principles into everyday business and doing things a bit differently you may just discover the perfect game plan for you and your team.