The making of a corporate athlete

Chronic stress without recovery depletes energy reserves, leads to burnout and breakdown, and ultimately undermines performance. Repeated regularly, these highly precise, consciously developed routines become automatic over time.

Several decades of sports science research have established that the key to increasing physical strength is a phenomenon known as supercompensation—essentially the creation of balanced work-rest ratios. The same methods that enable world-class athletes to reach IPS under pressure, we theorized, would be at least equally effective for business leaders—and perhaps even more important in their lives.

They explain that, in part, the secret of building a high-performance workforce lies in developing a strong company culture, rewarding your teams, and managing by Objectives, which you can achieve through a goal setting system such as OKRs.

Sustained high achievement demands physical and emotional strength as well as a sharp intellect. Exercising and eating well can free up energy, which will lead to better performance at work.

HBR Insights: The Making of a Corporate Athlete

Our training process begins at the physical level because the body is our fundamental source of energy—the foundation of the performance pyramid. But the source of such performance is as elusive as the fountain of youth.

We call this hierarchy the performance pyramid. Are there any other qualities or behaviors you think are essential to becoming a corporate athlete? In both situations, however, the hard work pays off tenfold. Each of its levels profoundly influences the others, and failure to address any one of them compromises performance.

Mental CapacityTo boost mental capacity, the authors recommend strengthening focus, time management, and critical thinking skills. In order to excel in the workplace, you must also take care of yourself physically.

We have now tested our model on thousands of executives. The typical executive, by contrast, devotes almost no time to training and must perform on demand ten, 12, 14 hours a day or more.

A successful approach to sustained high performance, we have found, must pull together all of these elements and consider the person as a whole. Just think of an arm in a cast for several weeks. Our efforts aim instead to help executives build their capacity for what might be called supportive or secondary competencies, among them endurance, strength, flexibility, self-control, and focus.

Ideal Performance State In training athletes, we have never focused on their primary skills—how to hit a serve, swing a golf club, or shoot a basketball. The demands on executives to sustain high performance day in and day out, year in and year out, dwarf the challenges faced by any athlete we have ever trained.

Almost no one has paid any attention to the role played by physical capacities.

Conversely, failure to stress the muscle results in weakness and atrophy. One of the methods they suggest for improving the mind is to give it a break often by practicing the non-cognitive act of meditation regularly.

To do this, you must take a systematic approach, moving up in levels as your career develops. Put simply, the best long-term performers tap into positive energy at all levels of the performance pyramid.

To sustain higher levels of performance, you can turn negative emotions into positive ones simply by changing your outlook.Aug 11,  · Athletes enjoy several months of off-season, while most executives are fortunate to get three or four weeks of vacation a year.

The career of the average professional athlete spans seven years; the average executive can expect to. multicourse meal eaten late in the Making of a Corporate Athlete Page 8 of 22 The corporate athlete doesn’t build a strong physical foundation by exercise alone.

travel-crammed days by skipping breakfast—the equivalent of rolling to the start line of the Indianapolis with a near-empty fuel tank. Few management theorists have pondered how the physical capacities of leaders may influence their performance.

And for good reason: after all, brilliant strategists don’t. According to the Harvard Business Review article, The Making of a Corporate Athlete, the velocity of organizational change requires personnel to maintain high performance (Loehr & Schwartz, ).

Rooted in two decades of work with world-class athletes, the integrated theory of performance management addresses the body, the emotions, the mind, and the spirit through a model the authors call the performance pyramid.

MOTIVATING PEOPLE The Making of a Corporate Athlete by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz FROM THE JANUARY ISSUE I f there is one quality that executives seek for themselves and their employees, it is.

The making of a corporate athlete
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