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Advice from the world's most driven athletes

  • Publish Date: Posted about 4 years ago
  • Author:by Matthew Eames

​At first glance, successful sportspeople and recruitment consultants don’t appear to have much in common. Yet both face an uphill battle where only a few succeed. If you’re a recruitment consultant hungry for success, we’ve rounded up the most relevant quotes from the world's most successful athletes and how you can apply these to drive your recruitment career forward.

“Motivation is crap. Motivation comes and goes. When you’re driven, whatever is in front of you will get destroyed.”

- David Goggins, ultra-marathon, ultra-distance cyclist, triathlete and the only member of the US Armed Forces to complete SEAL training, US Army Ranger School and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training

It happens time and again in many recruitment consultancies: New recruits start hungry for success, fired up for the challenges they’ve been told they will face. Yet only 20% make it past two years.

The problem is, they may have been motivated to achieve their goals in the pursuit of an extrinsic ‘reward’ (typically wealth, reputation, or prestige) but they never tapped into their drive for doing so.

Your drive is the intrinsic motivation that comes from within and keeps you going without reward. It’s usually linked to a greater purpose, personal development or connection.

In recruitment, the motivation to earn money will only take you so far. Before that motivation runs out, you need to discover your drive.

"Easy is not an option. No days off... never quit... be fearless... Talent you have naturally; skill is only developed by hours and hours of work."

-Usain Bolt, fthe astest man in the world (as if he needs an introduction)

Recruitment requires a natural talent for building good relationships with people you’ve never met and breaking down boundaries. However, it takes skill, hard work and a fearless approach to turn that natural talent into an ability to get past gatekeepers, find a commonality within five seconds and close deals consistently. It’s a skill that requires hours and hours of work.

“I have a lot of talent. But not like Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal and Martina Hingis. I can’t see myself as the kind of idol like Jordan was to me, they are so above all the rest, I feel like I’m not like them.”

-Roger Federer, holder of most male Grand Slam tennis titles (20)

Federer may have won the most male Grand Slams in history, but he doesn’t see himself as an idol. His humility is evident on the tennis court. If he wins, he tends to drop to the ground, never making his opponent feel bad after. If he loses, his sincere handshakes never take away from the victor’s happiness.

He is the epitome of a humble person, who displays great sportsmanship.

Meanwhile, his ‘idol’ Tiger Woods’ let fame get to him and admitted he felt “entitled” after his string of off the field negative publicity.

In recruitment, humility is everything. The top billers that last the distance are always the quiet ones who get on with it. Those that get sucked into a flashy lifestyle inevitably suffer when it gets in the way of hard work. Most importantly, clients and candidates don’t respond well to entitled or arrogant behaviour.

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

- Michael Jordan, NBA All-Star

Recruitment is tough. You will make mistakes. There will be failures you know you could have avoided in hindsight, and others you couldn’t see coming. You are dealing with people, after all, and people are unreliable. Candidates may change their minds or clients may pull the roles - or even change their minds on what they are looking for.

All those ‘losses’ and ‘failures’ are lessons you learn from to become a more successful recruitment consultant.

“The problem you see, it is easy. Most eyes can see what the player can do, but few eyes can see the effect the player has.”

-Andrea Pirlo, winner of football World Cup

Top billers are always one step ahead. They can see past the candidate that may not be 9/10 on paper but would shine at interview, or demonstrate adaptability and a commitment to ongoing learning that would make them a great asset elsewhere. They think ahead to potential future roles months down the line, not just the immediate ones.

“Each of us has fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.”

-Nadia Comenichi was the first gymnast to achieve a Perfect 10

We always ask, “What’s your drive?”. Our goal is to help you find that fire that will keep you going when the motivation dwindles. Everyone wants something different, we know that.