Research has long proven that many of skills we pick up early in life are highly transferable in our adult years. These skills include teamwork, sharing, problem solving and troubleshooting.
In addition to our early education paving the way for our subsequent business success, athletics and participation in sports has also been attributed to introducing leadership, teamwork and management skills.
Sport is so influential on future business success that researchers from Harvard University examined the link between sport and female executive success. After surveying more than 400 of the world’s top female executives, researchers found over 52 percent of this group participated in university level sports.
This number was especially high for C-suite women executives who hold COO, CFO and CEO positions. These high-ranking executives also see sportsmanship as an important skill that influences hiring because they believe people who have played sports make good professionals.
“These executives attribute participation in athletics to qualities like a commitment to bringing projects to completion and greater abilities in motivating others,”said Beth Brooke-Marciniak, Ernst and Young’s Global Vice Chair for Public Policy. “These intangible skills are hard to learn in a classroom.”
Brooke-Marciniak also pointed out that for women executives, fellow athletes put a premium on the discipline honed by sports, which they see translating to a person’s determination and work ethic.
Not only do lessons learned in the sporting arena translate to better job opportunities, continuous activity in sports can reduce the stress associated with a high paced careers, leading to better job performance and mental clarity.
Regular exercise should be a part of everyone’s regular stress-management routine due to its numerous physical and mental rewards. Participating in a team sport can reduce stress levels, increase feelings of physical and mental well-being, while also enhancing your team work and network building skills.
However, it can be hard to find the time for physical activity, especially for those who work stressful jobs. With that said, finding as little as 30 minutes a day can severely decrease the daily stress we encounter.
As the founder of investment consulting firm, Fairmont Gloucester Partners, Jeffrey Lipton knows firsthand the kind of stress business executives experience. However, Lipton has a personal secret for stress management – for him, it’s the routine and structure of taekwondo.
“The self-discipline, camaraderie and thirst for healthy competition that I have learned through my years of practicing taekwondo have been extremely helpful to my business career,” said Fairmont Gloucester Partners’ Jeffrey Lipton. “I used a lot of these skills over my career and they definitely came in handy when I founded my company.”
In addition to his martial arts training, Lipton is also a triathlete who has competed for in the Sprint and Olympic distances series.
“The stamina and perseverance needed by triathletes are fantastic business skills,” notes Lipton. “Even in terms of timing and pacing those too can be used in business.”
Regular participation in sport can also increase your stress threshold, according toHuman Kinetics. Sport stresses the body, which over time can enhance one’s tolerance to other stressors. Exercise can also serve as a release for tension and anxiety.