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Original research: Sustained High Performance: Optimizing The Executive Athlete




If you’re a sports fan, you’ve watched elite athletes perform at competitions and may have wondered how they do it. For example, how did Tom Brady win seven Super Bowls, become Super Bowl MVP five times, and break an endless list of records? Moreover, how has he been lastingly successful over 23 seasons? 1


Although most of us will never be elite athletes, we do want to be high performers at work and sustain that performance over time. Successful athletes need physical capabilities and “corporate athletes” i.e., working professionals who perform in the game of business, need strong mental capabilities. However, to achieve sustained high performance, both types of athletes need to be considered holistically as people with mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional capacities; they also need to balance exerting energy with rest/recovery.2

Below, we highlight three timely expansions to the idea of the “corporate athlete, "3 introduced in the 1999 book The Corporate Athlete and later summarized in “The Making of a Corporate Athlete"4 from the Harvard Business Review.


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