While we are in the midst of an Olympic fervor with the Winter games in Sochi, I thought, an athlete’s journey in many ways is a metaphor for the hurdles faced by the average business executive / owner.
The Olympic Games are universally associated with champions, as well as commitment and peak performance. These are the very same characteristics that businesses are constantly striving to achieve.
One of the biggest lessons centers on the importance of coaching in pushing athletes to become champions.
For an athlete, coaching is a vital part of success. Not only do coaches guide and inspire, they also help an athlete develop a strategy and a plan to win.
Likewise, business owners need coaches to help them guide their businesses to greater success with a winning business plan.
Over the past several years, more business leaders have recognized the similarities between the lives of athletes and business owners.
While a sports coach uses the premise from sports psychology that the mind controls the body, Business Coaches do much the same thing, showing business owners how to think differently about business and how to overcome obstacles in the way of success.
As outlined in an official 2008 Olympics publication, ‘What Makes a Champion’, the concept of motivation is all-pervading for athletes. It also drives the world of business. Athletes and business owners both need a coach to help guide and develop motivations, both external and internal, so each can win their respective “games.”
‘What Makes a Champion’ also looks at preparation in the form of practice and effort as a means of achieving excellence. At this level, a good coach pushes an athlete to go further in terms of running extra laps or spending more time working on specific skills.
Similarly, a Business Coach identifies strengths and weaknesses and works with a business owner to strengthen their knowledge-base or skills set in sales, marketing, hiring, etc. The coach then holds an owner accountable to use the learning or new strategy and apply it to get the desired result.
Finally, the idea of “delivery” for an athlete is how he or she applies training in practice to the pressure and anxiety of actual competition.
For a business, this could mean delivering on a new ad campaign, or applying new customer service standards in a company that has historically lacked such a program.
In both cases, the quality of coaching helps determine the quality of delivery or the performance “result.”
And more than ever, behind every successful business is a great Business Coach. Do you have one?