What entrepreneurs can learn from sportsmen

September 9, 2009

My first blog post, and an unlikely subject for me as someone who really has very little interest in sport. However, I am obsessed about what makes a successful entrepreneur and what I learnt tonight from Sir Jackie Stewart crystallised something I had already worked out: the qualities which make someone excel in sport bring great success when applied in business.

Jackie is a world-wide motor sport legend, but has been incredibly successful in business too. Which was harder for Jackie? Sport – because, quite simply, if you’re not number one you’re a nobody. Your business can still be top 10 in the rankings and be a massive success, but unless you’re first in the world of sport you’re a failure.

Think of an average sportsman, think of all the preparation and practise he puts in before an event – the days of football players turning up before a match and having a quick stretch to prepare are long gone. But how many people in business do nothing more than a quick stretch to prepare for a big meeting?

To succeed in sport you have to focus then practise and prepare.

It’s the same in business. The most impressive candidates I have interviewed for jobs in the last year all had a professional sporting background and now it’s something I will actively look for. They understand focus, determination and (depending on the sport) team-work in spades.


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