I don’t have what it takes to be a professional athlete, but some of what makes them successful are the same traits that others have to succeed in their own professions.

I recently finished listening to a fascinating book—The Right Call: What Sports Teach Us About Work and Life (Gallery Books, 2023) by Sally Jenkins.

Jenkins’ 20-plus years as a writer for the Washington Post has allowed her to have a front row seat to some of sporting world’s biggest moments, which in turn means she has had countless interactions with athletes, coaches and others in the industry.

In this book she shows how there are multiple lessons to be learned from athletes that translate to the board room and more important, to everyday life.

In some ways this was like a self-help book, but not in the true sense of that genre. So don’t let that deter you from reading. But it will undoubtedly have you thinking about your interactions with people, and perhaps how to implement better decision-making. You don’t have to be working to get something out of this book. After all, we all have plenty in our lives to improve upon.

The book definitely provides insight into what makes athletes and coaches tick; and how they deal with success and failure.

Jenkins says the seven principles behind success are:

  • Conditioning
  • Practice
  • Discipline
  • Candor
  • Culture
  • Resilience
  • Intention.

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