What do managers and top athletes have in common?
They both need ambition, power of endurance, concentration and persistence to be successful.
Furthermore top athletes are under permanent pressure and all their training measures are oriented to win the competition – and to make sure that they belong to the best. This is another parallel to the job of top managers, as they need to make sure that their company is lucrative and better than the ones of competitors.
This parallels are the reason why former top athletes are really attractive applicants. As they are mostly more determined, disciplined and strong-willed than others. They are not only willing to achieve personnel success but also for the company they are working for. Therefore they work just as hard as in their previous training to pursue that goal.
The research team around professor Wolfgang Becker, who is the director of the `Deloitte institute´ of the `Otto-Friedrich-University´ in Bamberg, showed that occupational and sportive activities cross-fertilize each other. As managers indicated that they could work more concentrated and powerful by doing sports. Moreover they said that they had more stamina when they took part in long proceedings or meetings. Accordingly Mr. Becker describes, that qualities which were developed through sports would support the career and that sporting achievements profit from professional skills. Therefore he claims that an efficiently synergy between profession and sports exists.
Due to a scientific survey of PREVENT (a supplier of health-check-ups) 76% of the German managers exercises regularly and 52% of them do sports more than two hours a week. Despite of their long working hours they do sports more frequently and longer than the average of the German population.
In another survey of the personnel consultancy `Heindrick & Struggles´ even 91% of the German managers specified to do sports. In addition to that it is even more interesting that 46% of the managers surveyed said that they practiced a sport of competition in the past.
Consequently `Heindrick & Struggles´ concluded that competitive sports can be seen as a good preparation for a career in economics. As capabilities like team spirit, goal orientation and discipline are encouraged early on by competitive sports.
Just as the 37th President of the United States – Richard M. Nixon stated: `I don´t know anything that builds the will to win better than competitive sports.´
Personally I have to agree with Nixon on that matter. – I am training around five times a week for taking part in half marathon´s, which really helps me to focus, to be ambitious and to be persevering not only with regard to the competition but also in university.
Last month when I ran my second half marathon 10 minutes faster than the first one I had the feeling that I just can handle anything that I really want to achieve. This attitude motivated me a lot to study hard for my reexamination in `Financial Accounting´ and surprisingly I got a good result in the end. Hence I am convinced that through the sports I am strong-minded in any situation.
Nowadays companies are aware of the fact that regularly exercises not only have a positive impact on the body but also on the performance at the workplace.
The company `Zeppelin´ is a good example for that, as the manager, Ernst Susanek uttered: `physical fitness is an urgent precondition for a maximum performance at work. That is why our executives take part in the programme of Europeansports, where their learn how easy it can be to live a healthy life and to stay physically fit.´
In addition James Burton of the Northern Illinois University found out that managers, who do sport regularly, are not only healthier but also less likely to vent their frustration on their employees.
This shows the social impact that sport has on us with all it´s emotional processes. Moreover team sport creates contacts and stabilizes liaisons.
I am going to tell you more about the positive influences sporting activities have on team building and the consolidation of teams in my next blog.
Till then you might asked yourself what social impacts sport already had on you.