10 Traits Leaders Can Learn From Athletes

Last night, along with the majority of the sport-loving population, I watched the eagerly anticipated Super Rugby final.

An epic New Zealand versus Australia clash, the Chiefs came from behind to retain their Super Rugby title, winning 27-22 over the Brumbies.

I’m sure there are a few sore heads around the country this morning – and rightly so.

And in celebrating the victorious result, I was reminded of the similarities between elite athletes and effective leaders.

Here are 10 traits leaders can learn from sporting heroes:

1. Passion – wholeheartedly loving what you do.
2. Persistence – never give up. When the going gets tough, go harder.
3. Commitment – total dedication at all times.
4. Grit – knowing a bit of pain is necessary for results.
5. Discipline – knowing and following the rules of the game.
6. Listening – taking on board advice from the captain, coach, trainers and team mates.
7. Rest and recovery – performing at key games. Then knowing the value of rest and recovery.
8. Vision – the most effective way to develop cohesion is through unified vision – keeping an eye on the prize.
9. Teamwork – working together towards a goal. We can’t do it alone.
10. Performance – focusing on mind, body and spirit to achieve peak performance.

Congratulations to The Chiefs!


About The Leader's Digest

I'm a leadership coach with over 15 years of experience in working alongside CEOs and senior leaders to harness their full potential - and achieve maximum results. The Leader's Digest is a pocket compendium, providing free leadership tips, insights and inspiration for busy executives, supporting the journey to great leadership.
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3 Responses to 10 Traits Leaders Can Learn From Athletes

  1. Dan Black says:

    Great post. It’s amazing what we can learn from watching sports. Each of the elements you mentioned are essential. I’ve learned discipline and passions are two of the most important. Loved this post!

  2. Pingback: In the Rough – 5 Leadership Lessons from Golfers | The Leader's Digest – by Suzi McAlpine, Executive Coach

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