From Bench Warmer to Star Performer
Want to succeed in life and work? In this new Corporate Wellness series our Director of Performance Tim Hanway details the sports science principles he has used with star athletes and in our Corporate Wellness Workshops that can help you succeed at work, succeed at home, and learn to activate your inner athlete.
Why Activating Your Inner-Athlete is the Key to Success
As an executive coach with a focus on employee performance, I often get asked: “who in the professional world should I look up to and emulate?” The truth is with so many influencers, brand ambassadors, celebrities, high-powered CEO’s and ‘life hackers (and books such as the ‘4 Hour Work Week’ by Tim Ferriss) this question is often a daunting one. However, in attempting to sift through the confusion as well as provide my corporate wellness clients with the most impactful and authentic answer, I find myself reverting back to athletics.
As a sports performance director, undergraduate professor, and sports scientist by trade, I have had the privilege of personally training and working with world-class competitors and Olympic athletes.
Steps To Improve Performance
As a result, I learned the systems and principles that guided their elite performances and realized that these keys were not just applicable to sports stars but could be implemented by us all to up level every area of our lives, from our performance at work to our relationships at home. I truly believe that the world’s best athletes can provide us with tried and tested blueprints to success, and by activating your own inner athlete you can achieve your goals.
Identify as a Corporate Athlete
It doesn’t matter if you have never played organized sports or even been part of a social team, the key to activating your inner athlete is all about mindset.
In Jim Loehr’s 2007 seminal Harvard Business Review publication “The Corporate Athlete,” Loehr was the first to formally present the business world with the evocation of elite sport and seamlessly weave it into modern-day corporate productivity and performance practices.
Specifically, Loehr detailed the parallels between high-stakes athletic competition, corporate settings and employee performance, especially as it relates to the overarching concept of energy management.
However, in spite of the supposed similarities between the most intense athletic arenas and today’s modern boardrooms, some key fundamental differences still persist, and the key one is that, unlike typical employees, professional athletes benefit from extended off-seasons where they are ultimately able to transition from periods of intense work and focus to periods of active recovery and restitution.
Working From Home in the COVID-19 Era
In stark contrast to the modern-day elite athlete who can spend months away in the off-season relaxing and recovering, the typical employee must instead walk a constant tightrope of always feeling like they are “on,” by constantly “competing” in highly stressful scenarios, and as work expectations continuing to intensify in the digital age (and thanks to the COVID era of working from home) it is not uncommon for employees to be answering a flurry of “urgent” or “important” emails, even when on the beach on vacation!
Professional burnout, adrenal fatigue, stress, physical inactivity, and a litany of other health ailments continue to plague employees in corporate America, highlighting the stark reality that the current approach to productivity and performance often leads to more stress and less time due to competing demands, poor time-management strategies, and the false premise that the latest app is all you need to free yourself from this vicious cycle of stress and busyness.
In summary, by taking the first step and adopting the mindset of a corporate athlete it is possible to sift through the challenges and inherent struggles of corporate America and instead look toward an alternative paradigm that prioritizes rest and recovery after intense periods of deep, focused work, resulting in greater fulfillment and career longevity in the process.
We offer online and in person Employee Health and Wellness Workshops on topics such as employee performance, healthy eating and stress and sleep. For more information on how we can help your employees succeed in the workplace head to the link below: