Congratulations, you have been appointed as CEO of a new start up company, the mission statement of your new company is “reach my potential and make good decisions”, its simple but compelling andthis takes thoughtful planning and ingenuity as a young Chief Executive.
You have to look at your career as if you’re running a business, all decisions go through you and all outcomes are because of you, you are the only employee of your company. You have to do the accounting, the marketing, the sales, the R/D, and develop your product.
Every company needs partnerships, we all need help from others to achieve our objectives, your partners are your teammates, you need your partners to reach your goals, so treat them fairly, work hard for them as you simultaneously help them achieve their objectives and trust they will provide the assistance you need.
Every company needs investors, people with resources that provide you every opportunity to reach your objective. These are your parents/guardians. How many times have your parents drove 45 min to take you to
AAU practice, spent $400 on a summer camp, and bought you those $120 NIKE’s? They are investing in your future, the same goes with Angel investors or Venture Capital Companies looking to invest in a small startup company. You need to convince them it is worth their time, energy and money, they are also a strategic partner for your future…Make sure you thank them daily and use their resources wisely.
A lot of startup companies use outside resources to ask unbiased questions and to get honest feedback, they are called “consultants”. This is your coach, your coach should always provide you the most accurate and honest feedback. They should be wise, fair and always have your best intentions at heart. One of their many responsibilities is to empower you on a successful path.
Every company (and athlete) needs:
A business plan – a detailed, mapped out plan that shows how you will get to your objective.
A business model - How your business operates efficiently, what are your best practices and disciplined habits that make you stand out in a competitive market?
A product/service - What market are you in and why your product is the best. For me I was in the shooting guard market and I needed to be the best long range shooter available for purchase.
Marketing and Brand - How do you make people aware of your product and how do you brand yourself? Your personal brand is everything; embrace this responsibility because no one can market your brand like you. This involves your attitude, the way you carry yourself and how you treat others. It also speaks to your work ethic.
Target Market - Who are your customers? In this case your audience. Who are you performing for? As players, we all want fans, people who pay money at the door to watch you perform. All good CEO’s know that the customer’s need to have a great experience if they are to keep coming back. Put on a show every time you are on stage for your fans.
Have you ever thought of yourself as a CEO? If not, lets’ start now!
Objective - Look for, build up and identify these characteristics
Going through my notes, speaking with college coaches and athletes and revisiting my past as a former division 1 athlete, I wanted to come up with characteristics that define winning athletes, no matter what sport you play.
As a matter of fact, looking through them they seem like 12 characteristics of winning at life.
Here is my list:
1.) Desire – I put this first for a reason, nothing on this list matters without desire or passion to be the best you can be. A desire to always improve, to compete, to win. A burning desire that keeps you up at night.
2.) Aggressiveness – Go out and hunt for what you want, don’t wait for things to happen magically. Produce your own results and always be on attack mode.
3.) Determination – The refusal to quit or accept defeat. Persistence to keep getting up every time you fall down and knowing that your willingness to practice harder than anyone else will lead you to your success.
4.) Responsibility – Admit errors, and take responsibility for their own actions.
5.) Leadership – When needed, pick and your choose when to demonstrate the necessary leadership skills that are needed at that time. A huge leadership attribute is knowing how to lead in certain situations and what tactics to use at that given time period. (This deserves its own blog).
6.) Self-Confidence - Confidence breeds success. Believe in your abilities. I truly believe confidence comes from practicing and dedicating yourself to the cause. Knowing you’ve been through something and have practiced it millions of times provides you confidence.
7.) Emotion Control – Handling the pressure of competitive sports and athletic success. Letting the game come to you and slowing things down in your mind during key situations of the game. Not letting your emotions get the best of you and channeling them into a positive direction that benefits you and your team.
8.) Mental Toughness – Not many people have this or know this but mental toughness is a big factor in athletic success. Being able to accept criticism and rigorous training. Being mentally stronger than your opponent will give you a competitive edge.
9.) Coach-ability – Embrace others knowledge and expertise. Don’t question your coaches methods and believe his best interest is in your development as an athlete and placing the team in positions to win.
10.) Conscientious – Having high standards of character. Having a deep sense of obligation and know a team must have discipline to be successful. Putting the team before yourself, be self-less.
11.) Trust – Athletes are believers, they accept people at face value and know that mutual trust is a major factor in building a successful team. A trustworthy locker room is one of high spirit, high morale, better communication and everyone understanding the goals at hand.
12.) Attitude – Last but not least, your attitude in anything you do will determine your success. Positive attitudes will separate you from the rest. Have you ever noticed how many people around you are negative and are always complaining? Be the opposite and always take a positive view on things and if you think positive in your athletic career, positive things will happen.
Oh, I have 1 more to add, so I guess it’s a baker’s dozen….
13.)Ownership– Take ownership in your athletic journey, what I mean by that is: Understand this is your career, seek out the best advice from experts and understand that if you don’t put in the time and effort you will not get anything out of it.
You are in full control of your You can only be an athlete for so long, and then all of a sudden it will end – so take full advantage of your situation and embrace the hardships, the competitive nature and enjoy the journey.