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The more thought that we put into it, the more we realize how similar sports and the business world are. There are traits and skills that are similar between the two and can easily transfer from one to the other with the right focus.

Which traits of effective leaders in athletics can transfer over to the business world? Here are just a few of the best skills.


The crux of sport and business is teamwork. No one person can do the job (yes, even in single-person sports). Even in single-person sports, there is a team of coaches behind the scenes helping the athlete to become the best that they can be.

When participants do their part, the team reaches the ultimate goal. Great leaders don’t put the focus on themselves but help manage the team to push the group to greater success. This is true for leaders in both sport and business.


No matter what aspect of your life you consider, communication is essential. When teammates are involved, that communication becomes even more critical. Being able to not only relay information to one another, but to inspire teammates is critical of leaders.

Being able to deliver the message effectively and make sure that everyone is on the same page is something that only great leaders can do. Communication means recognizing and appreciating the great work of teammates and helping to motivate them when they need it.


Every team sport or business venture requires a strategy of some sort. Great leaders in either field have the ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel and create a strategy that can help get the entire group there.

Part of the strategy is realizing the strengths and weaknesses of each member of the team. Leaders work to emphasize the former and mitigate the latter, bringing out the best of each team member. They don’t try to force their beliefs on the group; they adapt to their group and use those skills to develop the right strategy.