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Entrepreneurial Capacity-building for Sport


Management and self-leadership
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Management, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Business, Star-Up


At the end of this module you will be able to understand what are some of the required skills that are needed in order to become successful as an entrepreneur. Both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The self-leadership which is required in order to become someone who is ready to manage a team through the journey and how can your sports background contribute to your transition towards entrepreneurship.
As an entrepreneur, you must be able to take advantage of the nowadays digital opportunities. The online platforms, for example. In this module we will also focuse on what benefits do online platforms bring to the economy and society?

Self-leadership in the world of entrepreneurship and sport

IntroductionClick to read  

Simon Sinek and his 2019 TED talk on leader versus a manager: 

Self-leadership in the world of entrepreneurship and sportClick to read  

What is self leadership? This term describes a self- influence process through which people can and do achieve the self-direction and self-motivation necessary to perform their tasks and work. Self-leadership consists of specific behavioral and cognitive strategies designed to positively influence personal effectiveness. These strategies are generally clustered into three primary categories: 

  • Behavior-focused strategies;
  • Natural reward strategies;
  • Constructive thought pattern strategies.



Self-leadership strategiesClick to read  

  • Behavior-focused strategies:

These strategies endeavor to assist an individual to increase their self-awareness in order to facilitate behavioral management, especially the management of behaviors related to necessary but often unpleasant tasks. In the world of entrepreneurship, you will often spend many hours doing tedious tasks in order to achieve the required results.

  • Natural reward strategies:

They are intended to create situations in which a person is motivated or rewarded by inherently enjoyable aspects of the task or activity. There are two primary natural reward strategies. The first involves building more pleasant and enjoyable features into a given activity so that the task itself becomes naturally rewarding.

  • Constructive thought pattern strategies:

These strategies are designed to facilitate the formation of constructive thought patterns and habitual ways of thinking that can positively impact performance. They include identifying and replacing dysfunctional beliefs and assumptions, and practicing mental imagery and positive self-talk.



Correlation between self-leadership in entrepreneurship and sportClick to read  

‘‘One must first be able to effectively lead her/himself before effectively leading others.‘‘ However, if you were to ask a group of athletes to define leadership, the answer often focuses on leading others. So often, athletes dedicate much of their time and energy on leading others that it hinders the development of their own self-leadership skills. An athlete’s ability to coach her/himself through challenge, adversity, fear, and temptation set goals and a path to achievement and hold her/himself accountable to set standards is the most critical element of leadership – serving as the foundation for both individual and team success in sport and in life.

Examples of Role Models and Case Study:


Lessons in self-leadership in entrepreneurship and sportsClick to read  

  • Lesson 1:

People matter - there will always be people quick to point out what we’re doing wrong, why we failed or why we’re going to fail, why we’re not good enough… but the willingness to walk away from naysayers is an act of courage necessary in the pursuit of a goal, positivity, change, professional success or sporting greatness.

  • Lesson 2:

One comment is enough to change a life – be kind. None of us truly know what another is going through. Kindness or a simple word of encouragement can mean more to its recipient than we expect, and costs nothing. And while kindness often boomerangs back to us, give it generously without expectation.

  • Lesson 3:

It all boils down to you - take responsibility. While surrounding ourselves with great people and walking away from the relationships that do not serve us, the fact of the matter still remains – only you can do what it needs to be done.

  • Lesson 4:

A diagnosis is a good thing - knowing where you are, you can figure where you need to go, and how you can get there.

  • Lesson 5:

Be intentional – control the controllables - mindset, sleep, what you consume – control what you can control. We can choose where to place our attention: on the things within our remit of control, or those outside.

  • Lesson 6:

Practice mindfulness - mindfulness is about staying in contact with the present moment as much as possible, about focused attention on ‘’the now’’ (without looking back to the past where we risk regret or depression for example, or forward to the future where we risk feelings of anxiety or fear).

  • Lesson 7:

When you think it’s all over, try one more time - our reserves are often greater than we realise. In sport, one more push can see us cross the finish line a spit second before our competitor, and can be the difference between medal placement, or not. Similarly as entrepreneurs, choosing to ‘’go again’’ can produce an entirely different outcome - securing a new client, closing a deal.

  • Lesson 8:

Plan for the tough times. Put systems in place. Do the work - “Become obsessed and put in the hours. Maybe I wasn’t even good at athletics, maybe I just worked really hard.”

  • Lesson 9:

Look for areas of marginal improvements - where can you make minor changes, to yourself as an entrepreneur and self-leader, to your startup? Where can you identify areas for minor improvement? Slow and steady progress produces significant and sustainable growth. Seek incremental steps. Growth is what matters, not its pace.

  • Lesson 10:

Winning is outstaying your competitors - have passion for comeptetion and don’t be afraid to go the distance. The reward at the end is much greater, even if you loose. ‘’Pain is temporaty, if you quit however, it will last forever.’’