4. Leadership — the ability to inspire a team of likeminded individuals
The athlete entrepreneurs explain that playing sport has given them a strong grounding in what it means to be on a team — on both practical and emotional levels. And they are using that sports mindset to establish the high-performing teams required to grow their companies.
Many of the athlete entrepreneurs say that sport has taught them the value of learning from a great coach, encouraging them to seek advisors who can offer perspective, suggest new strategic plays and bolster their resilience.
5. Resilience — the ability to take failure as “feedback” that will only make them stronger
Learning how to handle failure and come back fighting is an essential skill for entrepreneurs — and our sportswomen have had a head start.
Today’s entrepreneurs are expected to take their lead from the startup culture of Silicon Valley and to get comfortable with “failing fast.” They must be able to recover rapidly before speeding off in another direction — the sort of emotional and physical agility that is part and parcel of competitive sport.
Many of our sportswomen say that playing competitive sport helped them to develop resilience, often at a young age, and that this quality has sustained them throughout the difficulties of running a business.
Read more in this report (pdf), in which we explore each of these attributes and suggest how they can be translated into behaviors that women can adopt to help them start, lead and grow their own companies.