Sports leadership

February 23, 2015

So I went to my first City Talk hosted at Birmingham City Universitiy Business School on Thursday 19th February.

The event saw a panel of regional sporting figures including, Warwickshire Bears coach Dougie Brown and Walsall FC Manager Dean Smith, consider whether the leadership skills that underpin sporting success can deliver results when it comes to building and running an effective business.

The coaching pair were joined by Anne-Maire McTavish from the business school who chaired the evening as well as Jennie Price, Chief Executive of Sport England and Jason Lee former coach of the Great Britain men’s and women’s hockey teams.

The panel explored what makes a great sporting leader. The unique challenges and pressures of leading a professional sports team and how business leaders might benefit from what goes on behind the scenes at the training ground and in the dressing room, before and after the games.

Here are my five top statements from the talk:

1. Go make somebody proud – This could be your child, parent, partner or friend, perform at a  level where you make someone proud.

2. Engage outwards – Tell someone your goals, don’t keep them to yourself.

3. Extrinsic and intrinsic motivations – Understand the basic needs of each person to help drive their motivation.

4. Believe in who you are – Always stay true to yourself, stick by your values and beliefs and use them to guide your team.

5. Leadership is not about how you manage the good days, it’s about how you manage the bad days .

I took a lot from the evening understanding how sports and business today are very much the same. Both are about enabling people to perform at their very best, however I don’t think the majority of businesses really look at their teams performance in the depths that sports leader do.

At VIVA we believe in ‘being all you can be’ and today we’re working with a wide range of companies to understand how to create internal cultures for their teams to perform at their very best. To see how effective your internal brand is today try our internal brand engagement tool. And then give us a call to see how your brand can be used to create a leadership framework for your organisation.

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