Resilience Tools From Elite Athletes

Stories of resilience abound in sport. In the past 24 months alone we’ve seen Canada’s Women’s Hockey team convert unfathomable pressure from millions of Canadians into a last minute comeback — win in the gold medal game in Sochi in overtime; watched Peyton Manning return from four neck surgeries to become the NFL MVP; met Waneek Horn-Miller, who was stabbed in the chest with a bayonet at Oka in 1990, and is now the Assistant Chef de Mission for Canada’s PanAm Team, and rejoiced as the Toronto Maple Leafs came off a heart-breaking playoff loss to win the Stanley Cup.

Okay, that last one didn’t happen — yet.

The Leafs notwithstanding, how are these athletes able to withstand the constant pressure inherent in striving to be the best? How are they able to channel the disappointment and frustration of significant setbacks into recovering stronger? How is it that they avoid the dis-engagement, anxiety, and even depression that we now know are all too common (and costly) side effects of demanding corporate work environments?

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Dane Jensen

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Dane Jensen is CEO of Third Factor, where he advises CEOs and senior leaders on strategy and leadership.


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