Staying the Distance: The Lessons from Sport That Business Leaders Have Been Missing

Bloomsbury Business: Macmillan. May 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781399405850. $28. BUS
Given the common practice of referring to groups of people who work together as teams, looking to sports for lessons in leadership seems natural. In this work, Sport and Beyond director Baker digs deeply into what business leaders can learn from successful coaches. The author pinpoints the most critical areas in which leaders should focus their self-development: gaining confidence, rejecting fear/negativity, seeing challenges instead of threats, sustaining motivation, maintaining discipline, and using time wisely. The book shifts focus to leadership practices that help build and sustain high-performing teams: build trust, balance belief in success with the drive to achieve, foster belonging, communicate with a positive impact, support long-term development, focus on organizational values, and develop a culture of ownership. In several sections, Baker points to the power of storytelling, which she models throughout the book with numerous tales of athletic success and failure. A business-based story wraps up each chapter.
VERDICT In drawing the parallels between coaching and leadership, this book provides valuable insight for succeeding in either pursuit. Will likely appeal to a broad readership, particularly those newly responsible for leading a team of any kind.
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