The Power Of Sports

Hi all, something a little different this week. A small blurb to follow on the blend between sports and business settings. Team dynamics, business leader operations and community spirit are all subject matters I find exciting, so I want to do a few ad-hoc pieces around it going forward.

Before we start, I was filled with joy to see all the newly appointed Tableau 2021 Ambassadors. A wholehearted congratulations to those selected. It’s always been such a delight to be able to continuously learn from the community. I’m honestly so chuffed that I can surround myself with talent from all round the world who share a common passion for visualising data. It is so uplifting, and I hope everyone enjoys their special moment! Check out the comms here.

Me: What I learnt From Sports

Sport can impart us with mental toughness and grit amongst other personal qualities. The similarities between sport and business extend to how to plan, review, sustain and deliver the tasks at hand.

For the sake of longevity, I refined the similarities between sports and business to 5 points that I value, based on people.

Team Culture: Diverse teams bring better results

If I was the manager of a football club and I had 11 world-class goalkeepers, you would be able to appreciate their individual talent. But, if I was to tell you I was going to play 10 of them outfield – you would think I’m crazy! Finding the best players or best people for a role is not always easy but can bring great success. There is no doubt building out a team of diverse talent both in background, skillsets, attitudes and outlooks will serve for better results.

A diverse team brings with it new ideas, the opportunity to share skills, uplift one another, all whilst challenging the status quo.

Team Motivation: Teamwork creates overall lower activation energy

I would like to draw the analogy to the gym environment. It’s an easy thing to let slip a good gym routine. That’s why people end up paying for Personal Trainer’s or going to group classes. Being in an environment where other determined individuals are around you has the ability to spur you on to greater results. To give you words of encouragement and to be supportive. Psychologically knowing you have that support network means you’re more likely to enjoy the moment and more likely to deliver better results from the session than going solo. The same can be applied for business; “Teamwork makes the dream work” for good reason.

Team Strategy: Everyone buys into the same vision

A good team strategy makes individuals understand the role they play in the bigger picture. Knowing what you do has an impact downstream on other individuals and in the wider business success brings people a sense of pride and achievement. Individuals will feel more valued in a team that communicates well and has a clear focus on what the future holds.

Team Development: Win or Learn mentality

You don’t win every match, sometimes there are curveballs, and sometimes you can’t anticipate everything that life throws at you.

Winning at face value may be gaining a trophy, winning a piece of new work, or getting that next promotion. At a deeper level, winning really is the small successes of improvement, development, gaining understanding, and producing incremental better results.

It’s important for teams to celebrate these successes along the way, especially when things look like they are getting tough. If winning is based on development, milestones will naturally follow. It is equally important that as an individual you have a supportive team when things do not go your way, to pick you up when you are down and feel comfortable to learn from your mistakes. This can help an individual to thrive, grow and ultimately make for a more effective team.

Effective Leaders: Empathetic Leadership

There may still exist the Sir Alex Ferguson ‘hairdryer treatment’ in sports teams and some lines of work, but overall, there is greater awareness of what passes the boundary of being dogmatic.

Empathetic leaders realise how to motivate their team through their people skills. What makes a person tick, what they’re excited by and how to get the best out of them. An effective leader realises it is the people that drive success. For me, leadership comes down to two main priorities, how to make people feel appreciated and how to make them accomplish things they didn’t think was possible of them.

Personal Development

I want to finish on talking about investing in yourself. Usain Bolt won 8 gold medals in 3 Olympics and ran for 115 seconds on the track, earning a whopping $120 million for his efforts. But for those two minutes he trained for 20 years. The 1% rule of being slightly better each day is something I strongly believe in. Successes are not achieved over night; they are created from a sustained incremental investment in what you are aiming to achieve.



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