Sports and Global Leadership

Did you know that 96% of C-suite women (the highest ranking executives at large companies with revenues more than $250 million) played competitive sports in school and more than half played at university-level or higher?

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff played volleyball. The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, was a member of France’s national synchronized swimming team.

Two former U.S. Secretaries of State, Hillary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice, grew up playing sports. PepsiCO CEO Indra Nooyi played cricket and baseball. Dupont CEO Ellen Kullman played college basketball.

The examples on the male side are even more widely known: U.S. President Barak Obama played basketball. Matthew ‘The Law’ Lindland, Olympic medalist in wrestling, was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives. David ‘The Admiral’ Robinson, two time NBA Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist successfully leads his business today, to name a few.

These examples paint a clear picture of the potential between athletic achievements and excellence in life. And yet, there are numerous other former athletes who struggle immensely with retirement from sports and transitioning into a successful life. Why? What differentiates the ones who succeed from the ones who don’t?

Athletic ability alone will not generate the type of long term success and perseverance necessary for being a great student, a talented employee, a manager, a business and political leader. Athletic ability will give you a burst of speed or power when you need it in the game.

It is skills like effective communication, smart decision making, goal setting, time management that will take you to the top of the sports podiums AND help you be successful in life. Those are the core skills we learn at MISSION SOAR.

A lot of times they are missed because it is impossible to take a photo of managing your time effectively and splash it on the front page, like a terrific display of athletic power. But it is every bit as important.

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