Corporate Athletes Emerge as Winners

finan2Many organizations realize the value of having former collegiate or professional athletes on their roster or in their boardroom. An October 2014 study of female executives by Ernst & Young linked former female athletes to strong leadership potential and a high career success rate, and a Fast Company article from April 2014 noted intercollegiate athletes often demonstrate strong time management skills and work ethic early in their careers. Even if you haven't had the opportunity to perform at a high level of athletic competition, you still can approach your professional career from the perspective of an athlete. Companies are on the lookout for the corporateathlete - those who have the capacity and flexibility to perform a number of job functions at a high level. In today's highly competitive job market, employers seek talented individuals who are willing to adjust quickly, add value through innovation, and tackle tough jobs others may avoid. Here are a few points to consider as you strive to make the A Team:

  • Think of this journey in terms of a depth chart - how strong are you in comparison to other candidates or team members? Are you at the top of your game? What have you achieved recently to differentiate yourself and add value to the team and company?
  • Strong athletes study their playbook and analyze possible game scenarios. As a successful corporate contributor, are you providing high-level thought to the issue at hand? Are you prepared for each meeting or encounter? Are you fully engaged in every project?
  • Court and field awareness are necessities for athletic success. Are you a student of industry trends? Are you networked within a core group of resources?
  • Practice makes perfect.  Have you invested the time into your game, resume or presentation? Is this really your best effort? Are you putting forth a winning effort?
  • Surround yourself with the right team - know your weaknesses, play to your strengths, and rely on your teammates or additional resources to fill the gaps. Individuals rarely make it to the top on their own. Plus the celebration is so much more fun when shared with others!

Karen Finan, Partner at Gilman Partners, is a former D-1 Northern Kentucky University Title IX Volleyball Student/Athlete. The team won several state and regional titles and enjoyed two national appearances during her tenure. Karen leads the firm's Commercial Real Estate Practice and is heavily engaged with business development opportunities across the board.  

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