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The Manager-Athlete and SCOPE

In business, it is particularly important for managers and key people to do their job with full energy and to give their best. In this context, companies pay a lot of attention to the development of their employees and themselves. The areas and expectations of development are constantly and dynamically changing. Traditionally, the core areas are professional education/training, and mental development/coaching. In these areas, tried and tested tools, both traditional and new, are constantly emerging, generally related to the subject area of HR, and, more narrowly, to motivation systems. More and more companies are recognising the fact that a CV-based, study-focused approach is not sufficient in itself, since the extent to which people apply the knowledge they have acquired at school is largely influenced by their personality. This is why the use of solutions that focus on identifying the personality and measuring the performance that can be inferred from it is becoming increasingly important.

However, even if a person has the right hard skills and develops the soft skills necessary for success, their physical condition and lack of fitness will not allow them to do the job. The modern manager takes information about healthy lifestyles seriously, but the maintenance of good health and physical fitness, and the measurement and forecasting of this, and the associated real health promotion programmes, are still in their infancy in the market. They focus mostly on general screening and define their “benchmark” numbers based on the fitness of ordinary people, in many cases, sick people. But managers want to stay healthy; they want to measure their physical fitness against healthy people, and even against the people who are in the best shape. Managers are highly competitive and accordingly play sports and want to take their chosen hobby sport to an increasingly serious level. And they want to measure their physical condition against that of athletes, which is not currently possible in Hungary in an organised and professional way. At an international level, but mainly in the USA, this is a clearly functioning and applied solution, which is used by the best managers. More and more European top managers are demanding this service, but at present, neither international nor domestic companies can find a suitable solution. Mostly international healthcare chains provide services in this field, specialising primarily in managerial screening, but their medical staff, scientific background and, above all, experience, do not even approach the level expected of an internationally-minded manager. The level of trust required to buy the product is not developed, and if it is given as a motivational tool by the company, the results and the resulting recommendations from the doctor are not taken seriously.

As a result of the pandemic, the well-being, general health, and physical fitness of managers and their families have become priorities. As the pandemic has been a major reflection of the importance of being in good health, it has jumped into the top three on the motivational preference scale, according to recent surveys. Retaining a workforce is critically difficult now and will be even harder in the next 5-8 years, meaning that solutions to prevent staff turnover should be a priority in the life of every company and business. In addition, successful managers know that they need to manage their physical condition and organisation with a determination and awareness approaching that of an elite sport. If they are already playing sports, they want to improve, often by pushing their own limits, and it makes no difference whether they are actually achieving the extra energy and confidence they want, or whether they are causing initial, possibly permanent, damage to their limbs, spine, and basic movement. Strange as it may seem to say, it is precisely because of these special circumstances that managers need exactly the same kind of in-depth analysis and advice, if you like, in terms of sports choice, movement planning, and professional planning, taking into account genetic or other characteristics, as elite athletes. Many people like to play tennis, but before signing up for a club, it is important to know what your skeletal system, ligaments, and other abilities can and cannot cope with, and if you are going to play this sport, what preventive or additional movements you need. The expectations of businesspeople in terms of physical fitness have changed a great deal, and it is now clear that they are competing with themselves to improve their performance in their chosen sport. It is still a hobby, of course, but it has long since moved beyond the level of leisure time.

It’s no coincidence that in the US, for more than a decade, the most successful managers have not infrequently gone to the doctors of famous NBA or NFL players for their own physical and health measurements, seeking and receiving their advice. Building the right background is not easy, of course, because in addition to a scientific approach, you need a sufficient number of measurement methodologies with relevant experience in elite sports and, of course, the right team of professionals to go with them. It is planned to be one of the first in Europe, in Hungary, to make this special service available to managers. The SCOPE – Competitive Prevention and Research Institute – combines American experience with European expectations and Hungarian specialists. It will provide unique and complex measurement, analysis, planning, and consulting services to businesspeople and companies with competitive managers.