Podcast

Episode: 93 |
Will Bachman:
Eyeballs on the Job Site:
Episode
93

HOW TO THRIVE AS AN
INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL

Will Bachman

Eyeballs on the Job Site

Show Notes

To bring her whole self to the game, the business athlete

  • Stays physically fit, flexibility, strength, cardiovascular fitness – because in long days at work, physical fitness supports mental alertness
  • She insists on getting enough sleep
  • She practices some form of mindfulness, to remain centered in the midst of inevitable crises
  • She finds a coach who will help her keep improving her game through deliberate practice
  • She puts time into mastering the basics until they become automatic –
  • She studies the competition to understand their moves
  • She regularly reviews, with an objective lens, her own performance, identifying what went well and what can be improved
  • She is motivated not by standing on the medal podium, but the satisfaction of performing at the highest possible level
  • She compares herself, primarily, not to other athletes, but to her own performance yesterday
  • She looks out along the full arc of her future career, and not just to the next competition.
  • She phases out from her life acquaintances who are a drag on her energy rather than a contribution to it

Thanks to Michael Feiner, who, in his course “High Performance Leadership” at Columbia Business School, introduced me to this concept of the business athlete.

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Every four years we typically see some new sports added to the Olympics. And 2020 new Olympic sports we’ll see in Tokyo will include three on three basketball, BMX, freestyle, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing. In 2024, what if they added your sport? Would you be ready? Hey, welcome to Unleashed the show that explores how to thrive as an independent professional. I’m your host Will Bachman. When I asked if you’d be ready to compete in your sport, I’m not talking about the physical activity that you do outside of work. I’m talking about the actual work that you do on your day job. I’m asking you to think of yourself as a business athlete. I first heard the term business athlete from Professor Michael finer, now an Umbrex member and has been a good friend of mine for a decade in his course, high performance leadership at Columbia Business School. And he’s been on the show, so check out that episode. My understanding of the idea of business athlete is that to succeed in business, you need to bring the same discipline, the same focus and the same holistic preparation as an athlete needs to be competitive at elite levels. An elite tennis player does more than work on her serve and her tennis strokes. And so does business athlete need to work more on just the technical aspects of the job to be physically mentally prepared to succeed. So, a business athlete seeks to master the functional knowledge of her field. Certainly, if she’s the VP of Marketing, she seeks to stay current on all the latest marketing technologies and digital marketing and social and so forth. But that’s not all. To bring her whole self to the game. The business athlete stays physically fit, flexibility, strength, cardiovascular fitness, because long days at work, physical fitness supports mental alertness. She insists on getting enough sleep, she practices some form of mindfulness to remain centered. In the midst of inevitable crises. She finds a coach who will help her keep improving her game. Through deliberate practice. The best athletes in the world have a coach, she puts time into mastering the basics until it becomes automatic. She studies the competition to understand their moves. She regularly reviews with an objective lens, her own performance, identifying what went well and what can be improved. She is motivated not by the idea of standing on the metaphorical podium, but the satisfaction of performing at the highest possible level. She compeller compares herself primarily not to other athletes, but to her own performance yesterday. She looks out along the full arc of her career, and not just to the next competition. She phases out from her life acquaintances who are a drag on her energy and rather than a contribution to it. Do you think of yourself as a business athlete? I’d love your thoughts on this episode, you can email me at unleashed@umbrex.com. If you visit umbrex.com slash Unleashed, you can sign up for our weekly email where you’ll get transcripts of every episode including this one, as well as some bonus features available only to subscribers. And I’d love it if you would share this on social media or share it with someone else if you thought the episode was thought provoking. And once again, thanks for listening

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