Everywhere you turn you hear phrases and terms formerly relegated to only the playing fields and courts of the sports world. In business, this is no different. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard phrases such as they “hit a homerun,” so-and-so “pitched” their idea, they “knocked that out of the park” or that was a “slam dunk.”
The link between business and sports
Businesses and sports teams share many similar facets. Great teams and businesses have:
- Inspirational/motivational leader
- Clear communication from top to bottom (and up again)
- Implicit trust in leader, teammates and goal
- All members of the team/group working toward same goal
- Excellent recruiting and managing of diverse groups
- Clear and attainable strategy
Therefore, it’s important for business leaders to study not only the successes and failures of well-known business leaders, but also successful sports coaches. These coaches build and manage a group of individuals into a cohesive team.
This concept is touched on magnificently in an article from CEO Magazine, “What Business Leaders Can Learn from Sports Coaches” by Rob Pegley.
“The challenge in business, as in sport, is to get them working together smoothly. And that often needs a whole range of skills.” –Rob Pegley
Pegley discusses how leadership in both realms are mirror images. He outlines how business management directly parallels coaching in sports and the need for excellent leadership in both.
My own participation in sports, as a youth here in Topeka, has been a tremendous help to me as a store manager and as a business owner. I’ve always had an interest in reading about coaches and athletes. This reading gave me a good understanding of how great teams can be built, how to manage differing personalities, and the various ways to develop strategies and goals for each individual and for the team.
Explore the concept of coaching and business leadership in these books by and about great sports coaches.