4 Things IT Leaders Can Learn from the World’s Greatest Athletes

We all think of the same names when we think of the world’s greatest athletes. Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Bo Jackson, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Willie Mays, Dale Earnhardt Sr, Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Carl Lewis - the list goes on and on. There could be a great debate as to who is the greatest athlete of all time, but one thing is for sure, these athletes changed the face of their game and dominated their profession at one time or another.

Some of these athletes like Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods are not only great athletes, but they are great business men. For instance, Tiger has dealt with his fair share of controversy over the past several years, but he is one example of someone profoundly changing the game of golf while going through some growing pains.

Read on for 4 Things IT Leaders Can Learn from the World’s Greatest Athletes…

#1: Adapt and plan for change – Wayne Gretzky


 “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

-Wayne Gretzky

Athletes have to be able to change and adapt as their respective game changes. This is definitely true of the IT world and IT leaders must adapt with ever evolving trends, technology, industry and business needs.

#2: You can always be better – Tiger Woods

“No matter how good you get you can always get better, and that's the exciting part.”

-Tiger Woods

We can all take a lesson here, no matter how good things may seem, there is always room for improvement. Tiger strives to be the best golfer on the planet and has a relentless desire to be the best. IT executives should strive to do the same. And in this instance, be the best leader and provide the most value to your organization that you can.

#3: Build yourself as a brand – Michael Jordan


“I've always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come”.

-Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan has done an incredible job of building his brand as an athlete and a business man. Through his endorsements with Nike, Gatorade, and other products, when you think of basketball you think of MJ. The same should be true for CIOs and IT executives. Build yourself as a strategic thinker and value driver for companies, as well as a mentor to other IT leaders, and your brand will be a positive one. Be a leader, a mentor, and deliver value in the IT community and to your company - your brand will grow.

#4: Utilize coaches, mentors, and partners to be successful – Bo Jackson


"Set your goals high, and don’t stop until you get there.”

-Bo Jackson

Every athlete has a coach or partner to help them be the best at their game. The same is true for executives and business leaders. An IT leader’s ability to delegate, use partners, outsource where necessary, and share leadership ideas with others in their community will always benefit the entire organization and those around you. Those leaders who have the right partners, mentors, and coaches around them are the ones who rise to the top.

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December 12, 2013 / Ryan Carter
Telecom Guide
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