Managing Your Team and Leading by Example

As an Athlete, you live and die for your team members — and they appreciate that. They will appreciate you still more, however, if you recognize that not everyone tackles problems in the same way. Beware pushing others beyond their limits, be mindful of your own foibles, and use a playbook that’s familiar to all.

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One of the qualities of the Athlete is bags of stamina, but it’s critical to remember that a) stamina doesn’t equal quality and b) pushing others beyond their limits destroys morale. With this in mind, a) take a close, critical look at the work you do at hour 120 and b) allow others the luxury of downtime. Doing so will likely result in an overall increase of creativity/productivity.

For you, being in motion is the most natural way of being — your best thinking is done on your feet. But while pacing may be relaxing for you, it’s maddening for others. If you can’t curb it, at least acknowledge it, as in “I recognize my pacing can be irritating and I’m sorry.”

While you are very comfortable with a sports metaphor — “We may not use it, but it’s nice to have that club in our bag” for example — it can be helpful to mix it up a bit so the nonathletic also feel at home. For example, “You can’t really tell who’s skinny dipping until the tide goes out,” is a great replacement for “Monday morning quarterbacking.”