Similarities Between Athletes and HR

The similarities between athletes and HR leaders might seem far-fetched to some, but whatever their differences on the surface may be, they are both trying to inspire and achieve greatness. Those of us within the HR industry have experienced the thrill of victory after successfully persuading the C-suite to embark on a new initiative, and we’ve also experienced the agony of defeat when an employee we’ve onboarded, trained and invested in leaves for a competitor.

Here’s a few more similarities between athletes and HR.


Can you do back flips and turns on a balance beam? What about the HR manager who has to coach the star salesperson who isn’t very nice to their co-workers? The organization doesn’t want to lose their star performer, but they’re so negative that you’re in danger of losing everyone else. So, in comes the HR manager tasked with correcting this behavior without punishing or offending. Talk about a tough balance!

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3 thoughts on “Similarities Between Athletes and HR

  1. Great comparisons between sports and a HR person but reality most HR are not a sport person except maybe in their dreams, especially for the salaries and perks of athletes.

  2. Great analogies – but, in addition to that back flip by a gymnast, I would have included twisting every which way by a contortionist because that seems more like what everyone else expects HR to do – twist every which way.

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