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HBR's 10 Must Reads on Leadership Lessons from Sports (featuring interviews with Sir Alex Ferguson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Andre Agassi)

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The world's elite athletes and coaches achieve high performance through inspiring leadership, mental toughness, and direction-setting strategic choices. Harvard Business Review has talked to many of these high performers throughout the years to learn how their success translates to the world of business.If you read nothing else on management lessons from the world of sport The world's elite athletes and coaches achieve high performance through inspiring leadership, mental toughness, and direction-setting strategic choices. Harvard Business Review has talked to many of these high performers throughout the years to learn how their success translates to the world of business.If you read nothing else on management lessons from the world of sports, read these 10 articles by athletes, coaches, and leadership experts. We've combed through our archive and selected the articles that will best help you drive performance. This book will inspire you to: Improve on your weaknesses, not just your strengths Take care of your body for sustained mental performance Increase your confidence and manage your energy before an important event Turn a struggling team around Understand the limits of performance metrics Focus on long-term goals to overcome setbacks Understand where the analogy of sports and business doesn't work This collection of articles includes "Ferguson's Formula," by Anita Elberse with Sir Alex Ferguson; "Life's Work: An Interview with Greg Louganis"; "The Making of a Corporate Athlete," by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz; "The Tough Work of Turning a Team Around," by Bill Parcells; "How an Olympic Gold Medalist Learned to Perform Under Pressure: An Interview with Alex Gregory"; "Mental Preparation Secrets of Top Athletes, Entertainers, and Surgeons," an interview with Daniel McGinn by Sarah Green Carmichael; "SoulCycle's CEO on Sustaining Growth in a Faddish Industry," by Melanie Whelan; "Life's Work: An Interview with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar"; "Major League Innovation," by Scott D. Anthony; "Looking Past Performance in Your Star Talent," by Mark de Rond, Adrian Moorhouse, and Matt Rogan; "Life's Work: An Interview with Mikhail Baryshnikov"; "How the Best of the Best Get Better and Better," by Graham Jones; "Life's Work: An Interview with Joe Girardi"; "Why There Is an I in Team," by Mark de Rond; "Life's Work: An Interview with Andre Agassi"; and "Why Sports Are a Terrible Metaphor for Business," by Bill Taylor.


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The world's elite athletes and coaches achieve high performance through inspiring leadership, mental toughness, and direction-setting strategic choices. Harvard Business Review has talked to many of these high performers throughout the years to learn how their success translates to the world of business.If you read nothing else on management lessons from the world of sport The world's elite athletes and coaches achieve high performance through inspiring leadership, mental toughness, and direction-setting strategic choices. Harvard Business Review has talked to many of these high performers throughout the years to learn how their success translates to the world of business.If you read nothing else on management lessons from the world of sports, read these 10 articles by athletes, coaches, and leadership experts. We've combed through our archive and selected the articles that will best help you drive performance. This book will inspire you to: Improve on your weaknesses, not just your strengths Take care of your body for sustained mental performance Increase your confidence and manage your energy before an important event Turn a struggling team around Understand the limits of performance metrics Focus on long-term goals to overcome setbacks Understand where the analogy of sports and business doesn't work This collection of articles includes "Ferguson's Formula," by Anita Elberse with Sir Alex Ferguson; "Life's Work: An Interview with Greg Louganis"; "The Making of a Corporate Athlete," by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz; "The Tough Work of Turning a Team Around," by Bill Parcells; "How an Olympic Gold Medalist Learned to Perform Under Pressure: An Interview with Alex Gregory"; "Mental Preparation Secrets of Top Athletes, Entertainers, and Surgeons," an interview with Daniel McGinn by Sarah Green Carmichael; "SoulCycle's CEO on Sustaining Growth in a Faddish Industry," by Melanie Whelan; "Life's Work: An Interview with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar"; "Major League Innovation," by Scott D. Anthony; "Looking Past Performance in Your Star Talent," by Mark de Rond, Adrian Moorhouse, and Matt Rogan; "Life's Work: An Interview with Mikhail Baryshnikov"; "How the Best of the Best Get Better and Better," by Graham Jones; "Life's Work: An Interview with Joe Girardi"; "Why There Is an I in Team," by Mark de Rond; "Life's Work: An Interview with Andre Agassi"; and "Why Sports Are a Terrible Metaphor for Business," by Bill Taylor.

30 review for HBR's 10 Must Reads on Leadership Lessons from Sports (featuring interviews with Sir Alex Ferguson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Andre Agassi)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    There are a few gems in this one, but otherwise it was just ok. Some of my favorite points: - To win games, you need to believe that you can. But also, confidence is born only of demonstrated ability. Maybe this sounds like a catch-22, but even small successes can be extremely powerful in helping people believe in themselves. Set small, visible goals; when people achieve them, they start to get it in their heads that they can succeed. They break the habit of feeling like they're losing and shift There are a few gems in this one, but otherwise it was just ok. Some of my favorite points: - To win games, you need to believe that you can. But also, confidence is born only of demonstrated ability. Maybe this sounds like a catch-22, but even small successes can be extremely powerful in helping people believe in themselves. Set small, visible goals; when people achieve them, they start to get it in their heads that they can succeed. They break the habit of feeling like they're losing and shift to feeling like they're winning. When people start acting in ways that fulfill these clear, easily reached goals, make sure everybody knows it and accentuate the positives at every possible opportunity - but also emphasize the next goal we need to fulfill to stay on track. Set small goals and hit them. - Confrontation is healthy. Be direct in feedback so that the receiver clearly understands and knows what they need to do to be better. People like the direct approach. It is much more valuable to have a leader who is absolutely clear and open than someone who soft-soaps or talks in circles. Let people know that you think they are better than they think they are. They can do better and more than they think they can - but they won't unless you tell them what it is first. - Exploit individual qualities while mitigating the risks the same qualities entail. Everyone is unique and special in their own way. We must do our best to figure out what that is and bring it to the surface so they can live up to their best potential. - People often perceive cynicism as indicative of smarts and cunning even if it is rarely helpful. Sometimes we find the contemptuous more capable, even if useless for all practical purposes. This is a helpful bias to be aware of.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bernard Kelly

    It’s a mind jolter but not too much more ! It just didn’t flow for me. In fairness, it was meant to be a series of articles or interviews each of which gave us different insights into the relationship if any between sports and business. I did gain some valuable insights but as a read, I just found it disjointed as it jumped from article to interview and then back again. Have finished it and felt that I just could have gained more with my time on another book. 5/10 from me !! Bernie K

  3. 5 out of 5

    Yesica Aguirre

    As usual HBR must read never fails, but combining management with sports is always a great idea for learning about success and discipline. This book is a compile of 15 articles and interviews about leadership and team work around an industry which is not precisely easy as sports. From Sir Alex Ferguson to Greg Louganis and Andre Agassi the book has a development of what good management should be and also how to learn about mistakes or let’s say lessons. As I always say while I teach, for me spor As usual HBR must read never fails, but combining management with sports is always a great idea for learning about success and discipline. This book is a compile of 15 articles and interviews about leadership and team work around an industry which is not precisely easy as sports. From Sir Alex Ferguson to Greg Louganis and Andre Agassi the book has a development of what good management should be and also how to learn about mistakes or let’s say lessons. As I always say while I teach, for me sports is one of the greatest managements! #excellent

  4. 5 out of 5

    Enzo Woo

    As an avid fan of sports and someone working in business, I loved some of the articles but this unique intersection of business and sports was bogged down by 2-3 terrible entries. I thought the “There is an I in Team” and “Why Sports are a Terrible Metaphor for Business” were awful and a couple athlete interviews (Baryshnikov) were eye-rollers. 5 stars for most articles and interviews but the stinkers dilute the book substantially.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessie Bruce

    I absolutely loved this book. Short lessons, simple to follow, and some great tips. I also loved the connection through sports, and the real life examples given. Great read for any manager or leader.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Giv

    Thought I would enjoy this as much as the rest of the HBR ive read before… nonetheless, it was an interesting lesson on sports-related leadership and how we can apply at work!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carlos Aragón

    The last three articles are mind blowing. The rest of them are ok. If you really like sports, this would be a pretty easy read to understand.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sreelekha Nama

    HBR-sports I started reading it a long ago, initially it was good, we just have to keep up the morale in keeping in mind not to finish it, perhaps, learning things. It inspired me not to skip my workout goals. I am happy

  9. 5 out of 5

    FractalHealing

    As i read this book i cross referenced it with with by Dr.Begel's boob #SportsPsychiatry . He has a sound understanding of psychodynamic of an athlete. I think the leadership in sports is laden with institutionalised narcissistic behaviour which is often malignant . Cases of professional athletes brutalising their spouse are often swept under the rug . As a developing clinician I have become interested in researching sociopathic /psychopathic behaviour among successful professional athletes . I As i read this book i cross referenced it with with by Dr.Begel's boob #SportsPsychiatry . He has a sound understanding of psychodynamic of an athlete. I think the leadership in sports is laden with institutionalised narcissistic behaviour which is often malignant . Cases of professional athletes brutalising their spouse are often swept under the rug . As a developing clinician I have become interested in researching sociopathic /psychopathic behaviour among successful professional athletes . I am disappointed to note that athletes are always on the wrong side on the Narcissism spectrum . I reading this book i am noting what constitutes leadership in sports? The book answers my questions . I would not consider this model of leadership exemplary. It leaves the athletes exacerbated in many ways .

  10. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Ladouceur

    Great, quick read! This book offered a series of interviews and short stories shared by reputable people in the sports world and the connection their leadership role may or may not have to a business setting. I loved hearing about the struggles and methods these people used to overcome the challenges they faced in their professional careers.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Paulo Hora

  12. 4 out of 5

    Syed Arfeen

  13. 4 out of 5

    James Mclachlan

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mariane

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marvin Sanchez

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joonas

  17. 5 out of 5

    JD

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Blanchard

  19. 5 out of 5

    ashish

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rameez

  21. 5 out of 5

    Prahladha

  22. 4 out of 5

    Abhishek Naskanti

  23. 5 out of 5

    Luis Menezes

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mathias Durand

  25. 4 out of 5

    Aditya Sen

  26. 5 out of 5

    Faizan Ali

  27. 4 out of 5

    Garrett

  28. 5 out of 5

    Smalljr

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brad Sawyer

  30. 5 out of 5

    Frederico

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