Are You a Corporate Athlete? | Carew International

Are You a Corporate Athlete?


corporate athleteThe title of Scott Behson’s recent HBR Network blog, Work-Life Balance Through Interval Training, is misleading.  The article actually focuses on the writings of Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz relative to achieving professional success as a “Corporate Athlete.”  Behson writes:

Loehr and Schwartz look at how the winners in the world of sports prepare for competition and then apply these techniques to managerial work. They urge executives “to train in the same systematic, multilevel way that world-class athletes do.” No, CEOs are not forced to run wind sprints (although some do). Rather, they are coached in a holistic program designed to help them attain – and sustain– the highest performance at their craft… In particular, they see great athletes and corporate athletes achieving the right balance across three critical dimensions:

1. Mind and Body

2. Performance and Development

3. Exertion and Recovery

Of particular relevance to training, here’s what Behson shares regarding the Performance and Development balance…

The performance–development balance also has a particular relevance to the work-life realm. Athletes know that the vast majority of their effort is spent on development, preparing for the performance they must put in during actual competition. In business, it feels like the proportions are inverted: every day executives must perform, and only a tiny fraction of their time is set aside for “professional development.” But actually, the athlete’s understanding of the balance would make more sense for business people, too. Athletes in their development days focus on individual elements of their game and build their capacity in the fundamentals; on competition days, they pull all the pieces together and push performance to the maximum. Likewise in business, there are those high-stakes occasions when managers can only pull off what they are trying to accomplish by drawing on every competence they have; but between “big game” days, many assignments could be focused on honing particular fundamentals…

Anyone who wants to sustain a performance edge needs to figure out how to keep developing new capabilities, and not just keep drawing on existing ones. If this can’t be accomplished through daily tasks, then it requires regularly scheduled time to be set aside…

Read Behson’s entire article.

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