If you observe elite athletes, you will notice certain habits and traits that make them excel at what they do. And those are some of the things you will likely see in many successful leaders. The good news is that much like the athletes who hone their skills and talents over time, you two can develop the qualities that will make you more effective as a leader.
Emotional, mental, and physical toughness
Elite athletes are emotionally, mentally, and physically tough. They need to be if they want to excel in sports where they go against the best of the best. The same thing holds true for leaders. As a leader, you cannot let your feelings cloud your judgment. You have to stay on top of your game regardless of how difficult the situation may be. You do not only have to develop emotional and mental strength. You also have to stay in top form physically if you want to accomplish all the things you need to do as a leader.
Elite athletes are highly competitive. They are self-driven to work harder than most people to get the results they want. They deliberately practice for hours and seek ways to improve themselves. If you want to lead, you have to keep your competitive edge. And you can only do that if you keep putting in the hours of effort and hard work to improve yourself.
Use defeats and mistakes as stepping stones
Top athletes do not let defeat stop them. Instead, they use it as motivation to get better. They learn from it. They use it as reference on how to improve themselves. They accept that they cannot win all the time. So they learn the lessons they can get from the experience and strive to do better next time.
Self-improvement and self-mastery are among the things that drive elite athletes. They know that the only way to succeed at anything is to put in the hours of practice and not shy away from the tough thing it may require. They also explore new techniques or strategies that will help them improve their performance. In the same vein, the best leaders never stop learning and improving their skills. They continually seek opportunities to try new things that bring them out of their comfort zone.