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Optimize Your Strengths by Dr. Paul Brewerton, James Brook

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Foreword

There are many parallels between elite sport and business leadership, from which we can draw valuable inspiration to help navigate through today's increasingly turbulent and competitive business environment.

Just like top-performing athletes, effective business leaders have very different characters and strengths. They spend time analysing their strengths and natural abilities and find a place where they can shine. For business leaders, this also means using their strengths to free up and optimize the collective talents and abilities of team members in pursuit of a compelling vision.

However, the truly outstanding leaders don't stop there. Through hard work, dedication and continuous stretch – of themselves, others and the organization – they ensure they are always looking for ways to improve and take advantage of new opportunities. Like Olympic gold medalists, they don't rest on their laurels when they achieve success. They look to the next challenges and work hard to move beyond their comfort zone, inspiring others to do the same. Olympians know that, in their pursuit of gold, it is unlikely that they will be enjoying what they are doing all of the time. They engage in training routines that sometimes sap their energy and can't be delegated to others.

They must also learn to tackle their weaker areas through hard work and by drawing on their strengths and those of others, including their coach, colleagues and teammates. In business it is no different. Effective leaders ...

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