5 Lessons from sports to apply at work

Learn which lessons from sports can be applied to working life.

1. There is no substitute for hard work

  • Performance in sport is critical: the training and conditioning in the pre-season and in the training field is what helps teams to compete and succeed at the highest levels.
  • Employee training is not merely an exercise of incorporating a person to the company: it must be developed regularly, focusing on what is required for each job, how one job relates to another, and observing the obstacles to a good performance while making the necessary adjustments and preparations for the future.

2. A team doesn’t need to be an all-star team to win

  • In all team sports, one or two players alone by themselves can’t win big championships.
  • Similarly, one or two high-flying employees can’t be expected to ‘carry the ball’ for their organization all the time.

There is only one goal: the championship

  • A boat can’t move forward if people row in different directions: to successfully complete a game, players must understand and follow the game plan.
  • Equally important is that each team member understands, internalizes and acts in accordance with the team’s vision. For that to happen, the team’s vision must be well designed, and be effectively communicated and continuously reinforced.

4. Good training is vital

  • Think about how the different are directed in a football team: there are defense, offense, kickers, and special teams coaches, etc. Each one has their own responsibilities and each one evaluates the talent of their unit, while preparing the players to do their respective jobs, making the necessary adjustments. Each coach is responsible before the whole team for the success or failure of their unit.
  • For an organization to succeed year after year, effective training is needed. Effective training involves understanding the responsibilities of each position and how it relates to others. It also involves assessing the strengths, weaknesses and potential of each team member with a personalized plan for the team member to grow in his/her position.

Persevere after a disappointment

  • There is no winning team that has not experienced disappointment: the key to success doesn’t lie in past failures but in understanding what went wrong, making changes and preparing for future challenges.
  • Each organization has unexpected losses and other disappointments: a truly successful company always learns from these experiences and always moves forward.

Available at: SHRM