The authors have studied the work of these leaders for a decade and developed a model of leadership that delivers superior results in a specific context, that is, one of fast obsolescence, high turbulence, intense government interference, mediocre levels of human capital development and traditionally high levels of managerial control.
The model is called Athletic Leadership because of the strong parallels between the protagonists' attitudes and behaviors and those of top sportspeople.
Athletic Leaders share a formative experience of practising competitive sports in their youth, facing early adversity as leaders of important projects, and changing companies and industries along the way.
They possess two traits that define their leadership personality: mental toughness and adaptability. Athletic CEOs also use specific iterative behavioral and mental strategies at work - 'meta-practices' of Athletic Leadership.
They deliver superior operational and financial results (leadership outputs) and transform their followers, companies, industries and communities (leadership outcomes).