Successful Business Athletes

Good Karma Brands division managers got together this fall for a leadership conference in Milwaukee to discuss various topics and hear speakers present their area of expertise, Daphne Ursu with Human Resources, Danielle Brandon with Organizational Development and so much more. We also were fortunate enough to get time with former President of Global Sales and Marketing at ESPN, Ed Erhardt. Ed recently wrapped up a 20-year career with ESPN and is now a consultant for businesses like Good Karma Brands.

Ed introduced our team to the concept of what it means to be a successful business athlete. The concept and characteristics apply internally at your business AND externally.

There are 8 key components to achieving it:

  1. Be a great listener.  Listen to understand not to respond.
  2. Be adaptive at adding value to an in-person meeting… read the room! How do you show up? Put your phone down, don’t look at your watch and be present!
  3. Be outstanding at managing up, down, and across to your boss or manager, your people, your peers.
  4. Be excellent at understanding and using technology so you can focus on moving your job, the business, or goals forward.
  5. Be a student of the game; understand your industry, marketplace, competition, and the trends that are happening so you can anticipate what’s next.
  6. Be able to write emails, letters, texts, and personal notes that people read and remember.
  7. Be an excellent presenter and know how to tell a story that advances the ball.  Think of a presentation as a show with the star performer being the benefits the audience receives.
  8. Be a team player. When you speak, it’s about “we” not “me”.   We have customers.  I do not.

The 8 keys to being a successful business athlete can be applied to any career or industry. Evaluate yourself on each of these and determine which is your best and which is your worst. Focus on maintaining the best and improving the worst.