Sport | 19 October, 2017

Business and sport, the path to leadership

Cristina Albuja Operational Risk

Sport and business are two settings where people relate to each other and that are recognised in all cultures. The capacity for transformation they have shown in recent decades in response to a wide variety of challenges has been amazing.

Their sectors have evolved in parallel; they have both moved with the times and contributed to the development of today’s societies: This has largely been due to how leadership has evolved over time and to the fact that many business managers have adapted production processes to incorporate the values emanating from sport.

Good executives understand leadership as the skill to motivate and engage them to give their very best to achieve a goal.

Two of Switzerland’s most renowned attributes are its capacity to innovate and the high productivity of its companies.

Perhaps we should ask ourselves if part of this success is largely due to sport.

In this country in the Alps, many people from virtually all age- and cultural and social groups practise sports either on a professional and amateur level. According to a survey taken by the Swiss government in 2014, 70% of the population aged between 15 and 74 practises some kind of sport. The most popular include hiking, swimming, ski-ing or cycling.

The same survey concludes that 40% of the population organise their holidays around the practice of some kind of physical activity: Marathons, yoga or pilates retreats, adventure holidays or sailing activities. BBVA in Switzerland offers exclusive experiences the bases of which are the country’s natural wonders and the customs of its inhabitants.

It is usual to see company managers in Zurich or Geneva cycling to work or politicians in Bern taking a midday run in the nearby parks.  The survey underlines that 43% of senior managers in the industrial sector regularly practise sport. And the trend is on the up and up.

Among its visible short-term benefits, sport helps to let off tension and combat stress, preventing conflicts and improving the workplace atmosphere. Good eating habits and moderate sports activity help to balance states of mind and overall health, which indirectly helps improve work absenteeism figures.

Company, sport and leadership interact professionally together. Sport injects the ethical values it embodies, such as endeavour and teamwork. Competitiveness helps to improve self-esteem and resistance, whereby it translates into successful negotiations and skills to play by the rules and improve the conditions of the game.

In short, sport and business are very similar and highly compatible. Success in both is due to a blend of technical and physical qualities, to a particular attitude and a high level of commitment.

How to establish a business strategy based on sport

 

  • Design a programme that sets out a longing, a healthy ambition.
  • Create a team that shares the group’s vision and values and which is constantly improving based on mutual trust and commitment.
  • Establish a strategy that helps overcome failures without losing enthusiasm and learn from our mistakes.
  • Apply all our endeavour to achieving our goals through suitable training.
  • Find a balance between acting proactively, flexibly and hatching ideas, together with co-ordinated actions and the presentation of results.