Job + Sport = Success

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.

Now as we know about all these parallels the question is: How sports could help managers to be even more successful?

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.


4 responses to “Job + Sport = Success

  1. Hey Korinna!
    What a sophisticated approach on that topic! I find it very appropriate to enhance your article with evidence and quotes from other people. This tells me that your arguments are credible and reliable to refer to when writing another article. The little story about your half marathon and the Financial Accounting exam helps the reader relate more to what you’re saying and gives the blog post a more personal touch. Yet, you provide hard facts, which I think are necessary if you want to make your clear point.
    Keep up the good work & thanks for sharing! 🙂 (I also read through your previous post and thumbs up for that one as well!)


    PS: The social impact of sports is tremendous: Team sports give you a sense of belonging, even if you only participate as a spectator. Watching the World and Euro Cups in huge crowds can be very entertaining and the tension that arises everytime the ball approaches the goal can’t be put into words. If “your” team wins, you find yourself hugging everyone around you no matter if you know them or not. Sports can create an immensely emotional atmosphere and as a true fan of a team you don’t need to be on the field yourself in order to be thrilled and high on adrenaline.
    Perhaps it could be interesting to further expand on the upcoming Euro Cup and the difficulties that are present etc.

    PS: I’m actually currently planning a post on sports myself! Not on the Euro Cup though. 😉

  2. Great work, Korinna! I didn’t know that former top athletes are attractive candidates for companies. OMG, I should do A LOT more sports 😉 I really appreciate that you included something personal and tried to involve as many points of view as possible (also citations:-) ) The figures you used make your post reliable, but sometimes I am a bit overwhelmed by too many numbers. Nevertheless, you did a great job in connecting your hobby with business!

  3. Thank you for another great post Korinna! I can totally relate to where you are coming from, because I was a very competitve member of a riding club before I moved to Berlin and I have to say that I miss the competition and the ambition of achieving personal goals a lot! When I broke my collarbone and couldn’t do any sports for months, I was really moody and annoyed with everything all the time. So it definitly sounds reasonable to me that managers who do sports regularly are more evenly tempered and treat their employees in a fair way. I hope that your post will motivate more people to exercise more regularly, because I too think that that is really important. And now, you provided us with not only the normal “stay in shape” reason, but also because it is important for our carreer. You used a good mixture of data, quotes and personal experience that made your post easy and fun to read. With all of the awesome sports achievments you are making, I bet you will be a great manager!

  4. Pingback: Swansea City Soccer·

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