As an executive coach absorbed in work with my clients I often notice meaningful parallels between the world of business coaching and training and that of the sports profession. Those who coach athletes always come back to fundamentals, and one of the core competencies they emphasize is balance. Balance is the key to success because it’s what supports and enables everything else – including your career wins in the form of promotions and salary bumps.
Balance Generates Power
When athletes focus on proper form, for example, they are seeking the ideal balance between positioning and movement. If you want to get ahead in your organization you have to do the same. Position yourself for success through value-adding scalable fundamentals – then when the opportunity comes you can make your move with confidence and predictable results.
Whether you’re swinging a golf club, throwing a softball, casting a fishing line, or serving in tennis, you have to maintain balance throughout the entire process so that your movements are smooth and coordinated. Then you can execute like a pro. The real essence of executive presence is exactly the same. You have to develop, train, and practice until leadership becomes internalized and instinctual.
Tension Inhibits Speed
“Tension inhibits speed” is a phrase I learned from a martial artist who explained that unless you know how to relax and stay calm your tactics will be crude, inconsistent, and will tire you out faster. He explained that internal resistance can come from clenched muscles, but that it also comes from a mindset that stays stressed and inflexible.
For those of us in business that means that opportunities come and go and you don’t see them until it’s too late and someone else beat you to the punch. You’re faced with a challenge but cannot adapt and adjust because you lack innovative, creative thinking that comes from a positive mind open to unlimited possibilities. You finally close in on the pinnacle of your success, but burn out on a personal or professional level before getting the promotion that will seal your legacy. When your brand and presence is balanced around an authentic core, however, you can leverage tremendous weight with extraordinary poise and grace.
That’s how you become the most powerful player in the organization. You get results because you’ve coordinated a diverse repertoire of skills and talents into a naturally balanced style of play. You own the playing field and victories come easier because you are in your zone and everyone else in your industry wants to be on your winning team.
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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion System™.
Blog, Ezine & Website: www.illustraconsulting.com
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS