How can businesses learn from teamwork in sport?

POWERFUL motivators are the driving force behind every successful sports team and business. In businesses, motivation is vital.

Great sports teams succeed because they work together, successful sales teams sell well because they work together, enterprising executives exceed expectations because…..they work efficiently together. Get the picture? Teamwork does, in essence, make the dream work. But how do you get the team to work together in the first place. This is the burning question for many businesses and something we hear consistently from our clients.

Our clients range from fast-moving consumer goods to oil and gas and technology – although they operate in different industries they all have the pain-point of teamwork and leadership values in common.

Some say that people are born leaders, but we believe that leadership doesn’t come naturally to everyone. We aim to flip that misconception on its head and help both our clients and our business lead with intent.

How are we doing this? With the help of Scotland rugby hero turned talent and coaching expert Tony Stanger from Stanger Pro.

Stanger Pro is helping us bring the world of elite sport into the boardroom. Tony, who was most recently head of talent at the Scottish Institute of Sport, specialises in understanding how to maximise the potential of talent. Identifying and developing top talent on behalf of our clients to help further advance business leaders and their organisations is driving this sport-led initiative. A shared passion of sport and coaching brought us to Tony and we are delighted to have secured such a Scottish legend as a partner for our business.

What have we learned so far from partnering with a pro?

  • There are many interwoven character traits that drive elite professionals in sports and business alike and those links are what we are capitalising on for both our own business and our clients. Many of the learned skills and inherent traits of elite sportspeople are hugely beneficial to business people. Attitude, confidence, commitment, taking a long term view and also the ability to deal effectively with failure.
  • Business leaders can use a sports-based approach to running their business better – defining what it is to ‘win’, creating a clear metric that directly relates to revenue and profitability and letting your team be more involved. This will create a self-directing, self-correcting team because they see a direct correlation between their actions and the results on which they are rewarded.
  • Taking a sports-based approach makes business fun and therefore inspires people.
  • In team sports, every player is viewed as important and vital to the success of the team and therefore they feel involved and motivated. Is this always applied in business?

One of the most important behaviours executives can learn from business coaching from a professional athlete is how to keep a level head in a fraught environment. We all want to raise our game and performance. Often that is purely a willingness to look at things differently to ask – how can we do this better? Businesses should remember that teamwork means that ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’.

Jane Setter

Jane Setter