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Leadership Lessons From Athletes

Leadership lessons often come from people outside the business world. One example is the performance-based world of athletes. Like leaders, their skills are on display, teams are counting on them and they are accountable in several different ways.

The following is a leadership skills list for business leaders based on athletics.

There Is More than One Way to Swing a Golf Club

Top golfers spend a great deal of time and effort analyzing golf swings to perfect their form, but each is unique. Likewise, in business, differences are often strengths. Usually there is more than one way to solve a problem or reach a goal. In fact, one sign of good leaders is that they know how to incorporate uniqueness into an all-star team.

Positive Thinking Really Works

Successful athletes learn early on that self-confidence is crucial to great performance. Even the truly talented sports stars need to reinvigorate their confidence regularly with self-talk. According to Express Yourself: Your Mouth, Your Life at WebMD, self-talk is “the conversation you have in your head about yourself and the world around you.” Positive self-talk — or positive thinking — can also make an enormous impact on a leader’s success. In fact, this is one of the most important leadership lessons you can learn.

Strive for the Best Team

Athletes want to play on all-star teams. After all, weak players bring down the entire group. It is the same in business, where leaders try to surround themselves with all-star players to build successful teams. This is among the many leadership lessons grounded in positivity. Affirmation from those you work with helps you succeed. This is especially true of the colleagues who work closest to you.

Be 1 Percent Better

Even star athletes do not rest on their laurels. They are competitive by nature, and their biggest competition comes from within. To be successful, always try to be 1 percent better than yesterday. Dr. Greg Wells, writing for Leadership Now, says this and other leadership lessons from athletes applies to leaders in business. Apply the 1 percent rule to every aspect of your life (diet, exercise, sleep, thinking and work), and those daily incremental changes will add up in the end.

Learn about the FIU online MBA program.

Sources: The Power of Positive Talking Five Habits of Top Athletes We Can Take To the Workplace

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