My sports story: Dan Stefan, managing partner, Autonom

Newsroom 04/08/2016 | 12:25

Business Review talked to Dan Stefan, managing partner, Autonom, to find out how the sports influence his professional activity.

Competitions: I started to be physically active in 2009, along with my brother. My main activity is running, but I also cycle, swim, climb, trek and play tennis. I have run five marathons and many half marathons. In the last year I’ve also climbed Kilimanjaro and Toubkal.

Relationship between sport and professional career: Psychology is crucial: if we understand how our brain works, if we are scholars of behavior, we can go far, together. Hard can be fun. A challenge is often a good motivator, if you face it with the right approach. In sport and in business, we face barriers, new levels that are hard to reach. To do that, you need a good plan, willpower, adaptation and patience. No shortcuts: the real satisfaction of an achievement is when it has been done with fair play. Helping other people grow is not only a big source of happiness but also a great way to learn and succeed. Failure is a great teacher, progress is a great friend and success is a dangerous ally. Being physically and intellectually active is a life journey, there is no final destination; it’s about the next competition, the next turnover threshold. The goal for a company should be to strive to become a better version of itself – and the same goes for an individual.

Business lessons learned from sport: The first is the growth mentality, as our potential is way beyond our currently perceived limits.​ Many times over, I did things in business and in sports that I would have never imagined possible. The second is about sustainable growth. A business organization has a natural, healthy growth rate, and so does the body. The best progress is gradual. Each time I rushed things they became unbalanced, with lots of drawbacks.

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