It’s a sport-filled summer, bringing us myriad displays of brilliance, ability, sportsmanship (or otherwise) and dedication. And in business, we can learn a lot from some of today’s sporting greats. Here are a few sources of inspiration for us:
Here’s what I like about Roger: he’s tough. As he showed this week at Wimbledon when two sets down to Alejandro Falla, he has the right mindset to get the job done. In the face of adversity, he doesn’t seem to feel sorry for himself or let himself think or play like the losing side. He simply takes a moment, steps it up and delivers. Swiss efficiency, at its best.
The lesson: When times are tough, concentrate on the ultimate goal – don’t dwell on the negative. Move on.
Love him or loathe him, you have to hand it to him. He has got sports sponsorship sewn up. With sponsorship from major brands like Nike, Castrol and Armani earning him millions, Ronaldo has inveigled his way into multiple consumer markets, becoming a ubiquitous presence on the billboards, online and on television. His stock is up, and he is unashamedly capitalising on it.
The lesson: Ubiquity doesn’t have to be a bad thing. We all want to be modest but maybe, like Ronaldo, we should celebrate our brilliance too.
Known as “the thug’s game, played by gentlemen”, rugby often displays what sport – and teamwork – is all about. Yes, it’s rough by nature, but there are very few hissy fits, less ego than football and it really is all about teamwork. One player can’t really succeed without the others. And aside from teamwork, no-one seems to take it too personally… you win some, you lose some. It’s a game.
The lesson: You can achieve way more with others, and shared success tastes sweeter
What lessons can you draw from sporting greats? Let us know!
Kate Spiers is founder of Wisdom London, a creative communications agency in London’s Soho. She is deeply un-sporty but is delighted to identify some point to it all.