The parallels between business and sports are in some ways obvious. The desire to succeed, and the hard work and time commitment that’s required to do so, is a reality for both businesses and outdoor sportspeople. But by looking closer at the relationship between business and athletics, some interesting and insightful connections come to light.
A savvy business leader is constantly learning from the world around them, and incorporating that knowledge into their organization. At CGPR, our passion for outdoor sports has brought us closer as a team, and helped us continually raise the bar for what we can accomplish for our clients. Here are a few things your business can (and should) learn from outdoor sports.
Building on Strengths, Addressing Weaknesses
All athletes have their strengths and weaknesses. The good athlete embraces their strengths and capitalizes on the opportunities those strengths inevitably present. The great athlete, however, addresses and works on their weaknesses. By focusing on areas of concern, the potential of an athlete significantly increases. The same can be said for businesses.
All companies have areas of their operations that they feel are the strongest. Whether it’s the products they offer, the team they have, or the consistency of their processes, every company is able to point to their strengths. And it would be a mistake not to highlight these areas and utilize them to grow the organization and attract new customers. But the weakness of an organization can, in the long run, lead to a company’s undoing. By spending an equal amount of company time improving areas of weakness, not only will the company’s operations improve, but the culture will reflect the commitment to excellence.
Accepting that Success Takes Time
In some industries, you may find the occasional overnight sensation; someone who may have gotten a bit lucky on their rise to the top, and didn’t necessarily put in the time it takes to master their craft. But this is almost never the case in sports, and is certainly never the case in building a sustainable business.
Before attaining success, a tremendous amount of time and dedication must be put into building a business. Cutting corners in the fundamental learning or growing stages of a process is an unsustainable way to pursue success. If a business looks for a low-cost way to grow their organization, or doesn’t focus on building a sustainable culture, it’s a matter of time before the rug is pulled out from under them.
Learning and Collaborating with Those Around You
No athlete, not even those who play individual sports such as skiing, tennis, and beyond, achieve their success alone. From parents, to teachers, to coaches, all athletes have absorbed knowledge from other people. Even learning from the competition is a crucial aspect of success. No business can succeed alone, either.
Building relationships and learning from other companies and individuals is a major part of succeeding as a business. A company should avoid at all cost the arrogance of assuming they always know what’s best. Collaboration, whether it’s with fellow employees or those outside the organization, can undoubtedly help a company thrive.
Sometimes the best way to gain wisdom on a subject is by searching for it in areas where we wouldn’t expect to find it. By looking to industries outside the one we’re in, we gain valuable insights into not only how to succeed, but how to grow as companies and human beings.
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