There are countless parallels when it comes to succeeding in business and sport. Here’s our top 5 books which bridge the gap and could help you reach the next level.
1. Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success by Matthew Syed
What links the Mercedes Formula One team with Google? What links Team Sky and the aviation industry?
Matthew Syed, once England’s number one table tennis player, takes a ‘been there, done that’ approach to his book and essentially argues that the key to success is a positive attitude to failure.
In the book, Syed talks us through how humans learn, innovate and become more creative: all processes that are integral to success in business and sport at the highest level. If you’re motivated to find your edge above all else, this could be the book for you.
2. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis
Moneyball will suit everyone with a love for the underdog story.
Between the late nineties and early noughties, The Oalkland Athletics Baseball team and their General Manager Billy Beane consistently out-performed their more wealthy rivals. Although their financial resources were scarce, Beane and the Oakland As managed to get the job done, and Moneyball details just how they did it.
The book takes an in-depth look at the team’s analytical, evidence-based approach to success, and teaches just as much about behavioural economics as it does about sport.
3. Legacy by James Kerr
When fans are asked who dominates the world of rugby, most answer with the All Blacks.
The All Blacks – New Zealand’s national rugby union team – are the most successful international men’s rugby side of all time, and undefeated in over 75% of their international matches over the last 100 years.
Legacy takes a close look at the All Black’s success, and details 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership. Inside, you’ll find insight into how the squad and their management have consistently turned vision into action, handled mounting pressure and cemented one of sport’s greatest legacies.
Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, has praised the book for its application to business as well as sport, suggesting ‘if you read only one leadership book in your life, make it this one.’
4. The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters
The Chimp Paradox is a crucial tool for learning how to make your own mind work for you.
English psychiatrist Steve Peters has helped multiple elite athletes attain success, including multiple-time world Snooker Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan and the British Cycling team.
In The Chimp Paradox, Peters proposes his immensely powerful mind-management model, which has helped athletes and business people toward success since its release in 2012. Those interested how to take control of challenges in sport and business, avoid being dictated by emotion and refrain from sabotaging their own success can now learn first-hand from Peters himself.
5. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight
Phil Knight, known as ‘the man behind the swoosh’, borrowed fifty dollars from his father in 1962 to start his own business. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion.
Shoe Dog is the story of how Knight created one of the most recognisable companies in the world today, and includes all of the risks and daunting setbacks that nearly tripped him up along the way. This is a book that should be on the shelf of any athlete, sports fan or aspiring business leader interested in learning how one of the greatest business missions of our time was executed.
At The Transition Phase, we believe Athletes are extremely valuable to organisations.
We’re an early careers programme that supports talent from a high-level sporting background. We utilise our own experience of having successfully transitioned careers to provide athletes with career guidance and support, making them aware of their transferrable skills and how they can be utilised in a professional environment, whilst providing organisations with access to high potential talent.