To say that we value sports backgrounds here at Sparta Consulting Group would be an understatement. This may surprise you, but oftentimes, previous athletic experience tells us more about an individual than their resume ever could. We are proud to staff former high school, collegiate and professional athletes, such as a starting receiver and an international basketball player. (Read more about our team here).
So why athletes? Why not search for only business majors or people with a minimum 5 years of experience in marketing and sales consulting? The answer is simple: mindsets. The mentality of an athlete is often completely different than that of a non-athlete. Self-discipline, a team mentality, internal motivation, a relentless work ethic, and high accountability are core qualities every successful competitor brings to the table — even before we begin the training process at our firm. If you’re wondering how your own sports experience might translate into a company like Sparta Consulting Group, ask yourself if you have the below 5 attributes we’re looking for in all team members!
The self-control of an athlete is remarkable. Take for example the retiring legacy of Kobe Bryant, 5-time NBA Championship winner and 2-time Gold Olympian. The stories of Kobe’s discipline and “deliberate practice” are enough to make you want to stop reading this blog and go and run laps. The man is known for being up 4:30am for conditioning, lifting weights for an hour, and then shooting (and by shooting, we mean making!) 800 jump shots… BEFORE TEAM PRACTICE at 11am! Most people simply do not possess this level of discipline; yet, athletes are coached from a young age that practice and preparation is what separates the pros from the rest. In business, the most successful entrepreneurs that come to mind such as Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Mark Cuban all have incredible restraint and discipline when it comes to the effort they put into their craft. You might have read that Mark Cuban didn’t take a vacation for 7 entire years. (Again we feel the urge to go run laps and get to work!)
2. Team Mentality
Another reason individuals with sports backgrounds often do well in the business world is because of their ability to work well with others. Athletes understand that camaraderie and team unity are essential to success. A great example of this is another basketball favorite of ours, Lebron James. Though known for his exceptional dribbling and scoring ability, Lebron is one of the highest rated players in NBA history for assists, even passing Scottie Pippin! In business, your colleagues are your teammates. Your company will be as successful as the bond that you share and the compilation of everyone’s unique talents.
3. Internal Drive
Have you ever met someone in business with exceptional ability and a complete lack of motivation? To an employer, there are few things as disappointing as wasted talent. One of our favorite books at Sparta Consulting Group is called Talent is Overrated and it’s about this very subject. (We highly recommend it!) Great athletes have enough motivation and internal drive for themselves and even enough to share with the entire team. In sports, which is performance-based, it is understood if you don’t perform, you don’t play. Athletes are coached to stay positive, stay hungry and keep grinding. All this for the opportunity to put their practice to work in the big game. There’s little micro-management needed or consistent pep talks necessary; athletes take care of this internally.
4. Work Ethic
Perhaps our favorite trait of former athletes is their desire to outwork everyone. Remember, talent is overrated! Most people from sports backgrounds are the first ones in the office and the last ones out. Why? Because they recognize that it is relentless effort that wins games. We see unparalleled work ethic in athletes like Tom Brady and Tiger Woods, and business executives like Bill Gates — and the difference is that they’re winners. Here at Sparta Consulting Group, we represent a client that sets very high goals and has high expectations — which is exactly how we like it! We never shy away from a challenge. We work with winners, and winners have the work ethic to produce extraordinary results.
The ability to take responsibility for your actions is essential in business, especially when you hold a leadership or management position. Athletes are used to being held accountable to several parties: themselves, their parents, coaches and fellow team members — just to name a few. They have a deeper understanding of their actions and recognize the potential positive or negative consequences that stem from their choices.
All in all, individuals with sports backgrounds are accustomed to success, failure and adversity. They have a deeply inherent desire to compete, and therefore enter their careers with the same eagerness and hunger for success. Athletes are such an enticing hire for Sparta Consulting Group because of these 5 qualities, but also many more. If you’re interested in reading more about the many athletes that comprise our management team, visit our newly redesigned website at www.spartaconsultingroup.com and enjoy!
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