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Core Values & Character: Five Key Attributes that Lead to Business & Athletic Success

By Chris Rohrbach

Athletics and business have many similarities. I would argue that individuals who excel in athletics possess key attributes that translate into successful business characteristics as well. As quoted by professional football player Jerry Rice: “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” This quote has a deeper meaning for me since I grew up watching him and tried to emulate his style of play and work ethic. Whether it was playing in the backyard with my dad, at the park with friends, and eventually in high school and college—I wanted to be like him. I was a wide receiver, and Jerry Rice is arguably the best wide receiver to ever play the game.

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While in college, I was able to have some amazing experiences during my football career, one being a game called the “Battle in Seattle,” an annual game played against my Central Washington Wildcats and the Western Washington Vikings, played at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

Being an athlete, I saw firsthand how much dedication and collaboration takes place between team members and some key attributes really do set great athletes and great business leaders apart from the pack. At Hughes Marino, this also translates to our ten Core Values and company culture.

Dedication to Go Above and Beyond

The first attribute that I believe all great athletes possess is a dedication to go above and beyond the call of duty. For most athletes, the rigorous schedule of practice, film, weights, etc. is enough in itself, but the athletes that are willing to put in the extra time to give them that slight competitive edge are the ones that typically find greater success. This dedication and commitment to excellence is one of the things that drew me to Hughes Marino. With “hardest workers in the room” being one of our HM-isms—a set of inspirational phrases and concepts—inspired by none other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, it perfectly exemplifies the way we operate at Hughes Marino. To be the “hardest worker in the room” you have to do more than what is expected of you, and this is what we strive to do for our clients on a daily basis. I am sure “The Rock” would agree!

Selfless Attitude

All great athletes must focus on the team’s goal above their own personal success, even in individual sports, approaching it from a selfless state of mind. They understand all the time and effort that their entire team of coaches, trainers and teammates put into their “individual” success. Lance Armstrong may get all of the notoriety, but it literally took a village to help him achieve the great successes he had during the Tour de France races. This reminds me of our Core Value #5, “Build lasting relationships based on trust.” We know that through taking a selfless approach and recognizing everything we do is a team effort, we are able to build lasting relationships not only with our teammates but also with our clients. It all starts with a selfless attitude and trust.

Exceptional Communication

Exceptional communication skills are extremely important both in business and athletics. Great athletes are always communicating. Whether it’s LeBron James calling out a specific defensive play or an incoming screen to give a teammate a heads up, or a championship-caliber coach like Pete Carroll, Geno Auriemma, Gregg Popovich or Bill Belichick using communication to their team as a form of motivation and strategy, all great athletes and coaches must be able to communicate. Great communicators are also excellent listeners. Communication is a two-way highway, not a one-way street! Communication skills and the ability to listen tie in directly with our Core Value #9, “Proactively communicate with others.” We believe that if we proactively communicate with our team as well as our clients, nothing will slip through the cracks, providing our clients with WOW-worthy service.

Continued Motivation

Have you ever wondered what it is that keeps top athletes motivated, especially once they’ve reached a goal? For many, it’s the ability to set new goals and never be satisfied. This is not to say you shouldn’t celebrate when you achieve a goal, however, it’s the ability to cross one goal off of the list and write down two more that will set apart the good from the great. At Hughes Marino, we strive to do this in all aspects of life. Our Core Value #7 is “Pursue growth and learning.” To me, this means that we are never satisfied and always looking for ways to improve as a coworker, teammate, husband, wife, father, mother, advisor and more. We stay motivated throughout our pursuit of growth and learning!


I don’t know a single great athlete that doesn’t have extreme self-confidence. This is not to say they don’t experience times of doubt or uncertainty, but they are confident in their ability and what they offer to the team. Great athletes have a unique ability to rally others around them to become more confident in themselves as well. Great coaches also possess this skill, and this is something we strive to achieve at Hughes Marino, as we want all of our clients to feel “Informed, Confident and Appreciated.” Personally, I think one of the best ways to make your clients feel this way is to exemplify these characteristics ourselves. I have always said that “Confidence is contagious!”

There are so many ways that individuals set themselves apart from the pack in both athletics and business, and at Hughes Marino, we are constantly striving to do this for our clients. Finding new ways to change the commercial real estate industry and be an advocate for the tenant is at the top of our list. Through our award-winning company culture and our endless pursuit of excellence, we are striving every day to exemplify these attributes for our clients.

Chris Rohrbach is a vice president at Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company with offices across the nation. Contact Chris at 1-844-662-6635 or chris@hughesmarino.com to learn more.

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