Elite athletes have long recognized the power of the Ideal Performance State for the success, but its significance in the business realm has largely remained in the shadows.
In the high-speed landscape of the business world, where achieving success stands as the ultimate objective, there exists a valuable concept that often slips under the radar. This concept is a treasure trove that elite athletes have not only grasped but have also seamlessly woven into their routines—it's known as the Ideal Performance State. This state revolves around the ability to mobilize and manage energy and is structured like a pyramid with four levels: physical prowess, cognitive sharpness, emotional balance, and spiritual alignment. While athletes indeed understand and employ this concept, professionals and executives in the business world lag behind. Their demands are constant, their hours unrelenting. They're like athletes in a never-ending championship, continuously pushing themselves to the limit. For them, energy management isn't just crucial; it's a non-negotiable lifeline. A Comparison: Athletes vs. Employees
Athletes dedicate a substantial amount of their time (95%) to rigorous training, aimed at refining both their primary and secondary skills crucial for holistic performance. These secondary skills encompass areas such as strength, endurance, stress management, flexibility, self-control, and focus. Interestingly, they encounter performance stress for only about 5% of their time. Athletes follow a structured routine, take necessary breaks, and are supported by a team of professionals including coaches, psychologists, physiotherapists, and nutritionists. Their careers typically span around ten years. On the other hand, executives and employees have less time for training and face almost continuous pressure to perform.They might overlook essential skills such as managing stress and maintaining fitness. Their schedules are demanding, with careers lasting 35-50 years. While they receive some professional support, it's not as extensive as what athletes enjoy. The high expectations placed on professionals and executives to constantly perform at an exceptional level can be overwhelming. This pressure takes a toll on their resources and often leads to poorer performance and negative impacts on their personal well-being and health.
How can our workforce adopt the success strategies of elite athletes? Employee Turned into a Corporate Athlete: Energy Management Unveiled
Harvard Business School explored whether strategies that work for successful athletes could also benefit executives, transforming them into 'corporate athletes.' The evidence shows that lessons drawn from the world of sports can significantly enhance success in the workplace. This approach isn't limited to high-performing executives; your employees too can adopt the mindset of corporate athletes. Improving their performance hinges on effectively managing energy across various dimensions.
Physical Energy: For corporate athletes, the body's well-being is paramount. Just as a well-maintained machine functions optimally, executives need to treat their bodies with care. This isn't solely about appearance but about ensuring vitality. Neglecting the body can lead to burnout, so focusing on diet, exercise, and sleep is crucial. A body functioning at its best ensures excellence in performance.
Emotional well-being is equally vital. Executives can't afford to wait until emotions overwhelm them. Mindfulness of emotions, just like an athlete checks physical condition, is essential. Being in tune with emotional states and effectively managing strong emotions prevents performance from suffering.
The ability to control attention is pivotal for performing under pressure. Similar to how athletes practice focusing on their goals, executives can engage in mind management, honing cognitive skills and embracing meditation. The capacity to work with our thoughts and effectively manage our attention serves as the cornerstone of peak performance.
A corporate athlete must discover meaning in their pursuits. This may seem unrelated, but it's critical. Reflecting on values and purpose fuels the inner fire needed to excel. It's the antidote to burnout—an essential spiritual aspect of success.
The Holistic Approach: Paving the Path to Excellence
Integrating athletic principles with the unique intricacies of the business domain can yield remarkable achievements. True excellence isn't solely about professional skills; it involves nurturing a well-rounded individual. The recipe for success demands a holistic approach that embraces the body, emotions, mind, and spirit.
Your employees can begin their journey to becoming corporate athletes through our customized workshops and personalized counseling provided by our Employee Assistance Program. Explore how you can empower your team to elevate your business to new heights.