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In an intense Strategy,
Where one may face the other for a long time
Without engaging and without retreating,
Careful observations are essential.
Sun Tzu

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You Inc.: The Athlete CEO

It happens very quickly. The contract is in front of you, your pen moves across the paper, the ink is still not dry and your business status changes immediately.

From now on every decision you make, both on and off the field becomes a Business Decision. It’s no longer just football, baseball, basketball, golf, soccer, hockey or boxing. You are the franchise, the talent, and the product whichever way you would like to describe it. Ok! You buy the concept…now what?

Successful CEO’s are constantly challenged to guide their company toward long- term success. Focusing on their product or service, they become responsible for product development and improvement, public relations, sales and marketing, branding as well financial and legal issues that affect their firm. Success, once reached, requires constant attention. Taking your eye off the ball can lead to disaster.

So CEO’s need answers. They know that they do not have to have all the answers. They need three things; the right questions, the right people to ask and then they need the courage to ask. They also must access their own skills. Do they have to assemble the best team possible or can they carry the ball themselves? If they need a team where does the recruiting start? No sane quarterback would face a defensive line with just himself and the center.

Success management seems to have it’s own set of rules. They apply to sports as well as business, entertainment and the arts. What can the athlete draw from a successful business practice?

A SWOT analysis is a formula to quickly assess an individual or company.

Let’s conduct a quick SWOT analysis

Strengths… What talents have taken you to the professional level in your sport?

Training, coaching plus your lifestyle choices either add to or take away from your competitive edge. How do you practice and play your mental game? Do you work on focus and concentration? Are you aware those athletes who work on their MIND GAME almost never talk about it. They often describe it as a secret weapon. Teams, using this strategy as a group, insist on a confidentiality agreement. How & when you train, what you eat & drink, where you go and with whom, virtually every decision you make is a BUSINESS DECISION.

Weaknesses Where do you need assistance to maintain and assure your business growth? How do you protect your future? First it is important to identify what you do well. Consider your current financial oversight. Are you asking the right questions of the right people? Remember, the only dumb questions are the ones you don’t ask. Basically, take the first round draft picks in each area once you have identified what you need.

Opportunities Question…You are your business. What opportunities are open to you today that you are not taking advantage of both on and off the field? Personal Strategic Planning dictates, as it does for the CEO that you look beyond your life in sports to a time when you are not actively playing from just the off season to retirement.

  • Question…. Are the questions you are asking focusing far enough into the future?
  • Question…. Is my lifestyle a risk to my company, it’s image, or future earning potential?
  • Question….Am I endorsement or commercial material?

Threats What threats exist for your company?

  • Letting someone else control your company
  • Asking the wrong questions to the wrong people
  • Not seeking second opinions
  • Inaction

You need to begin to assemble a team, when you realize that you have questions and no one you can safely ask. Alone at the top exists for high performers in business, entertainment and professional sports. Questions?

Dan Schaefer PhD, president of Peak Performance Strategies and the Success Management Group, offers a place to start asking questions. Gain a competitive edge quickly both on and off the field. For a complementary conference with Dr. Dan call 917 880 6758. More Articles & Ideas