Beat burnout with burnout coach Leanne Spencer

Sport and performance in business

A lot of executives use sport as a way of keeping their minds and bodies fit and healthy and ready for optimum performance in the office or board room. Lord Sugar plays a lot of tennis. Paul Pester competes in triathlons, Peter Jones plays tennis, and Condoleezza Rice plays golf. Harriet Green, the recent CEO of Thomas Cook, sees a personal trainer four times a week and lifts kettle-bells as part of her sessions. She also practices yoga, and says this about prioritising time for exercise and wellbeing:

‘If you can’t do something for yourself for an hour a day, you have become a slave.’

Given there is still gender inequality in senior positions, a sports background could serve female executives very well. Results of a study released in October 2014 by the EY Women Athletes Business Network and espnW revealed that the majority of female executives surveyed said a sports background can help accelerate a woman’s leadership and career potential, and has a positive influence on hiring decisions. It seems that the attributes to become successful in sport are easily transferable to the boardroom or corporate environment. Of the women in the EY survey, 53% said they still played sport as they moved into their working lives, and most still used sport to help them unwind. 37% said they felt it helped then to concentrate and focus on their work (swimming and running being the most popular activities).

Sport provides the opportunity to hone key skills that translate easily into business, and is also a great way to relax and de-stress. Executives are now encouraged to train themselves in the same way a professional athlete would by ensuring they are fit and sharp, and fully prepared to perform at the peak of their abilities.

Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, author of the Amazon bestselling book Rise and Shine: Recover from burnout and get back to your best and Founder of the Rise Method® and Bodyshot Performance Limited. Connect with me @riseshinemethod or Facebook.

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