by Rob Urbach / June 09, 2011
After I accepted the position of CEO at USA Triathlon in February, I attended a summit where I was introduced to a number of CEOs from different companies. One CEO in particular had been sought out for his position in a high-profile company because of his qualifications, one of which was that he’s a triathlete. As CEO of this particular company, which is a household name, his leadership qualities and endurance were traits necessary to perform his job duties well under pressure.
Think about triathletes you may know. They are determined, disciplined folks who manage their time well and are typically prepared to deal with stressful situations. Being a triathlete takes dedication and focus to keep going when you hit a wall in training or a race. Triathletes understand the importance of balance as they make time for training sessions between the time they want to spend with their families, friends and careers. Triathletes are familiar with commitments when they map out their training plans and race schedules year after year. Triathletes set goals and follow those goals through to the finish, to the best of their abilities.
The sport of triathlon requires attention to detail and triathletes need to work hard to make sure that all the pieces of their race-day puzzle – swim, bike, run, transitions, nutrition – fit together in order to cross the finish line strong.
Though this particular CEO was extremely qualified for his job because of his résumé, the fact that he was a triathlete gave him an added boost.
As I heard his story, it occurred to me that the unique qualifications it takes to participate in triathlon are also important for an employee who wishes to be successful in his or her job. Discipline, time management, commitment and dedication are all characteristics of an ideal employee.
What’s more, triathletes understand what it is like to be part of a community, surrounded by others who are working toward a common goal, even if it is an individual pursuit like triathlon. Triathletes are team players, and they are willing to step up and help a fellow race participant – a quality that is admirable in the corporate world when everyone needs to be on board.
The bottom line is this: Hire a triathlete. One of these strong, motivated athletes may be just what your company needs.
Sharing with fellow athletes: How do you think being a triathlete has helped other aspects of your life? Post your reply in the comments section below.