Why aren’t Business Leaders more like Athletes?

It suprprises me that our aspiring business leaders and even general managers in corporations and in public service do not dedicate more time to brain science. I liken this to the world of athletics. An athlete’s primary job is to run faster, or jump higher or throw further. Sounds simple. But it is now well-recognised that to be the very best and to achieve the nano-second advantage that might make the difference between gold & silver or even between qualification for the olympic team and staying at home, athletes need to know a lot more than ‘just’ their traditional training programme. In the course of becoming the best they can be, they become well-versed in areas of muscle physiology, nutrition, anatomy, cardio-vascular mechanics, as well as some important principles of the the way their brain works through relaxation techniques, managing and channelling emotions and positive visualisation exercises. So what do we need and expect from our leaders? Problem-solving, decision making, emotional intelligence, an understanding of what motivates people, an ability to engage and quickly establish rapport with others, conflict management and resolution, negotiation skills, an ability to manage their own emotions, an engaging communication style, and the list goes on and on….. It seems to me that having at least a rudimentary understanding of the way the brain works and the neuroscience that underpins our emotions, drives, moods and behaviours would be invaluable to anyone who counts even one item of this list of activities within their professional responsibilties. Why wouldn’t someone who wants to be the ‘best they can be’ seek to give themself every advantage in achieving that vision? Athletes do. They are constantly seeking the ‘edge’ that might just put them on the top of the podium. Their body is ‘the tool of their trade’. The brain is no less the tool of the executive or business leader’s trade. Why not take the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of how it works and fine-tune it’s performance? It might just give you that vital edge and take you to the top of the podium.


2 thoughts on “Why aren’t Business Leaders more like Athletes?

  1. Related to this post is a piece titled “Habits Take Time to Ingrain – for Leaders and Everyone Else”. See this interview with Denny Coates, who says “There’s a reason why athletes spend hours and hours practicing to improve just one small element of their game. Whether they realize it or not, what they’re doing is strengthening the neural pathways in their brain so the pattern becomes stronger and more natural.” http://ht.ly/2Kjyq

  2. Pingback: Winning margins | Gyro Consulting Services

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