By Bev James, CEO, The Academy Group

Building on the five S's of sport defined by Ken Doherty, US Decathlon Champion, we are going to discuss the value of building Stamina, Speed, Strength, Skills and Spirit as the most effective way of creating a winning formula for enhanced business performance.

Your business is an extension of yourself, and as business owners, we can’t expect to perform at peak potential if we are not taking steps to keep ourselves fit and healthy.

1. Using Stamina in business

Building a business that will survive the test of time is more of a marathon than a sprint and will often involve working long hours, travelling long distances and the ability to stay focused for long periods of time. Doing what it takes to succeed in business demands stamina.

2. Using Speed in business

Speed of response provides the winning edge in sport. It is not always the most talented sportsperson who scores the goal – it is the one with the fastest reactions, who not only has the skill, but is in right place and has the courage to take the opportunity.

3. Using your strength in business

Anyone who plays a sport will know how hard it can be to bounce back from losing a race. The dream fades for a moment and all the hard work and training have been in vain; but those with a winner’s mentality will bounce back from defeat and learn lessons from their loss – ready to fight another day. Emotional intelligence is key in business. It takes strength of character to consciously take stock, stay the course, and do the right thing. Sometimes that means making hard decisions about staffing levels or client focus.

4. Skill in business

According to Dun and Bradstreet, one of the main reasons that small businesses fail is due to a lack in the knowledge and skills of the business owner. Don’t lose your place on the business podium simply because you haven’t taken the time to brush up on your skills. Constantly striving to be faster, sharper and hungrier.

5. Spirit in business

The human spirit is the fire that ignites our motivation, inspires others and maximizing personal performance. Having a passion for what we do and knowing why we do it, gives us the drive and determination to succeed – in sport, in business, in life – and it is contagious. But no athlete succeeds alone – they are part of a whole team who helps them to perform to the optimum.

But it is not all work and no rest. Taking time to rest, renew, regroup and rethink can be the keys to reconnecting and reigniting the energy that drives us forward to achieve great things.