Annah Jamison – The corporate athlete #IWD2023

March 16, 2023
Annah Jamison, Director at General Atlantic

Annah Jamison began playing competitive sports at a young age and continues being a competitive athlete today. During elementary school and middle school, she was a competitive cheerleader and participated in a rec basketball league with classmates. In high school, she ran cross country, and was a varsity athlete in basketball and lacrosse. During her senior year of high school, Annah captained her lacrosse team and was ultimately recruited to play lacrosse at Amherst College despite suffering MCL and ACL injuries during the recruiting process. While part of the team, Amherst maintained a top position in the competitive NESCAC league. Ultimately, Annah played lacrosse for Amherst for two years before switching to lifting weights. In 2017, Annah competed in her first powerlifting meet and in 2023, she will compete in her eighth powerlifting meet. Currently, she holds the Washington, DC bench press record and has qualified for Nationals twice.

What have sports meant to you?

Competitive sports have always played a big role in my life, and I am grateful for the impact they’ve had on who I am today. In college, I was part of the varsity lacrosse team for a few years, and it taught me the value of team work, accountability, and commitment in the face of adversity. Since retiring from lacrosse, I took up competitive powerlifting as part of a powerlifting team. Lifting weights, especially heavy ones, has taught me the value of “doing the basics and not cutting corners” since most of weight training is boring, repetitive movements that I’ve done for years, and delayed gratification to reach PRs. More broadly, competitive sports have taught me skills like time management, leadership, and conflict resolution.

What characteristics do you think female athletes possess that translate well to leadership in a corporate environment?

Female competitive athletes usually have a strong work ethic, high EQ, ambition, and tenacity. Additionally, female athletes are used to receiving direct feedback and focusing on “how to get better.” In the corporate environment (especially as someone who interviews executives daily), I’ve found that candidates who have a reputation for working hard, being emotionally intelligent, setting ambitious goals, and persevering when things don’t go their way are highly valued by their bosses, peers, and direct reports. Additionally, I’ve seen that executives who can take critical feedback and view it as a gift, rather than a threat, close their development gaps much more quickly than those who are resistant to feedback.

What lesson have you learned the hard way?

While being competitive is an absolute advantage, there is a time and place to let my competitiveness come through. There is a fine line between using my competitiveness to reach stretch goals versus having it get in my own way.  

What is the main lesson you have learned from the sporting world that has contributed to the success in your corporate life?

The main lesson I’ve learned from sport is the value of relationships and showing up for others. Additionally, I’ve learned that you do not need to be the best player on the team or the strongest one at the competition, but you do need to show people respect, kindness and an interest in their life. Being a competitive athlete has given me confidence because when you compete, your successes and failures are usually on display for others to see. Instead of shying away from failure, I know it’s part of the process to get better. And getting better at things that I previously wasn’t good at, makes me feel confident in most things I attempt!

Do you have a go-to quote that gives you inspiration in your sports and/or professional life?

Even if the weight is heavy, I am strong

Please note that all commentary and opinions provided are those of the individual, and not the organization/company.

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