Building Confidence

Confidence is widely coveted. It’s admired, desired, well-received; a trait that many of us long for more of. We see it as one of the marks of a successful person and developing confidence is key to becoming a better leader. But what is it?
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The Narrative of Your Team and Why it Matters for Performance

“Our team doesn’t work well with that team”, “January is always a quiet month for us”, “We’re better on the operational tasks than creative ones”. We all have stories, beliefs, language and narratives which we tell and hold about ourselves and that shape our behaviour and how we approach situations. Being aware of what these are and replacing any narratives that are holding you back can be transformational for your performance. But what about extending this to entire teams or organisations? Often when we start working with new teams within businesses, we ask them to describe their team traits, identity…
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How much do you really care about your team and how does this impact performance?

When is the last time a colleague asked how you were doing? And when is the last time you gave or received an honest answer to this question? Did you really care about the answer you got or do you mainly ask people how they are as a formality?  There is a growing body of research into how psychological safety and trust are fundamental for high-performing teams in the world of business and in sport. But in order to develop this psychological safety, leaders are tasked with showing their team members that they really care about them as an individual. …
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Applying Olympic Lessons to Reignite Motivation

A recent study found that almost half of UK office workers felt a lack of personal motivation while working from home during the pandemic. Managing the energy levels of a business is no easy feat in the current climate and disengaged employees, low motivation and rising attrition are increasingly common across many organisations.  The employee engagement epidemic stems from a sustained period of uncertainty, employees taking time to personally reflect on what matters to them most and the return to ‘normal’ not meeting their pent-up expectations – but how can businesses mitigate against this and support employees in the return…
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Plan like an Olympic Team – Applying the Olympic Mindset to Business

Have you ever wondered what is going through an Olympic athlete’s mind when they are competing? Or what exactly is said in those moments between coaches and elite athletes, or amongst teams in the locker room at halftime? How do Olympic teams prepare for the pressure of competing and giving their best performance when it matters most? What is it that drives the level of determination needed to succeed in the Olympics?  We have had the good fortune to work with, and be surrounded by, some of the world’s best athletes and in our experience, confidence has been an essential…
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Values as a Lens

A big discovery Leadership teams in business often make is that they create organisation values but don’t really use them to their true potential. Within sustainably winning sporting teams we see the use of values to create the identity of teams and organisations and ultimately use them as a lens for appropriate behaviours, decision making and communication. In turn, enhancing team trust and confidence. A great example of this is the most successful sporting team in the world, The New Zealand All Blacks. Like many sporting teams the All Blacks don’t just put words up in the gym or use…
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Planning Backwards

We often hear people in business saying that the beauty of sport is that its so simple. Now I could argue with that but for now I don’t have the energy.  I hope this article will demonstrate that simple or not sport gives us a great opportunity to draw analogy to learn from and apply to our own situations. I have been lucky enough to be a part of successful and not so successful projects.  If there is one thing I have learned its that planning is essential for successful performance. The saying goes ‘prior preparation and planning prevents piss…
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Marginal Gains

British Cycling, over the last ten years, has been one of the world’s most successful sporting teams and many point towards the application of the “Aggregation of Marginal Gains” as being one of our significant performance advantages. Examples that are frequently quoted coming from this approach are; each athlete having their own portable bed and taking it with them to each competition, being taught how to wash our hands by surgeons, each rider having their own bespoke carbon fibre shoes and each athlete and staff member having sessions with psychiatrists to understand their inner chimp…When Sir David Brailsford, Performance Director…
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Facing Fears

I was three and a half years into my London 2012 Olympic campaign and on track for my best ever performance. It had taken total dedication to the cause and 70,000m of swimming every week. And then… three months before the Olympic Trials I suffered my first ever performance disabling injury. Two bulging disks in my lower back resulting in back spasms and a complete inability to swim. It was a pivotal moment in my swimming career. It could so easily have been a traumatic and emotional ordeal with sleepless nights and endless stress and anxiety of worst case scenarios.…
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Creating habits to Live Your Purpose

One of the most effective forms of long-term behaviour change is the formation of habits. The brain is capable of methodically changing, adapting and re-organising neural pathways as a response to changes in the environment or situations. This is known as neuro-plasticity. Neurons that are associated with a specific behaviour or action function together and form a neural pathway – “neurons that fire together, wire together”. This imprint in our neural system is also what makes old habits hard to break. Through practice and repeated actions of a new behaviour or habit the connections of these neural pathways become established…
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Elite Performance Discipline

“And what is a man without energy? Nothing–nothing at all.” – Mark Twain As an Olympic squad of athletes, when it came to our personal performance, keeping on top of our most precious commodity was critical. That commodity was energy. Once I realised that how I created and spent my energy was a choice and my choice alone it was incredibly liberating. It meant that I was accountable for making conscious choices about my energy and those choices ultimately determined my success, or otherwise. We discovered that we were in control, as long as we had the discipline to take…
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