Performance | 8.11.18

Leaders Performance Digest

Sir Elton John’s Watford keep scouting the best; if you want to perform high get your 8hrs of rest; 19 surprising ways to relax if you’re stressed.

Good morning one and all and welcome to another edition of the Leaders Performance Digest, your weekly confidant to inform you of the the comings, goings and status quo-ings across the high performance space. Short but sweet this week as we’re busy preparing for our Sport Performance Summit next week…

Before we begin, a word of remembrance for Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the Leicester City owner who died in a helicopter crash last weekend. James Emmett, my colleague and fellow digester (on the sports biz side) summed it up perfectly – in an era in which foreign football ownership so often seems to distance fans from their clubs, the Thai billionaire was the exception that proved the rule, delivering historic and unexpected success to Leicester while working generously, quietly, and philanthropically to embody the community spirit of the club he bought into in 2010. Our thoughts here at LPI are with everyone at LCFC.

The thoughts of Michael Calvin and co. here on the recent Football Writers Podcast.

5 questions, answered

1.    How do you sustain success when you can only pick players from a hotbed of 8,088 sq miles? Ask Athletic Club of Bilbao, because since 1912 that’s exactly what they’ve done – only used plays born or trained in the Basque Country. Remarkably, they’ve never been relegated from the top flight of Spanish football.

We wrote our own piece on The Leaders of Lezama a couple of years back, too.

2.    Is performance science, science? An intriguing thought that was posed to Dr. Kevin Currell at EIS. One thing which is certain is that it all comes back to problem solving.

3.    How do you scout a football team? Ask Sir Elton John. Or maybe it’s better to ask Scott Duxbury instead. Either way, Watford FC continue to punch above their weight and it could well be down to their recruitment strategy.

4.    What is it like to be a top rugby analyst? Leaders member and Scottish Rugby’s favourite Welshman Gavin Vaughan can give you an insight into his life as one, which mainly consists of finding new ways in which to outfox the opposition. It was great to see he and Gregor meet with our friends at the 49ers while on the West Coast a couple of months back.

5.    What do astronauts and one in five women have in common? Higher than average concentrations of homocysteine and circulatory issues similar to those detected in the (male) astronauts with eye problems…Yes, it’s a mouthful but it’s pretty intriguing. NASA, get to work…

The Digest, Digested

As easy as ABC…
Being a good leader isn’t easy. But sometimes leadership can be overcomplicated – over the years, things haven’t really changed. To be more successful, master the fundamentals. And if you want to be a creative leaders, add flexibility to your list of qualities – oh, and become a better storyteller…

…but forget about the EGO
It’s all too easy to let power go to your head. Bigger salaries and job titles doesn’t mean you’ve mastered leadership, so park your ego at the door.

Ryan Holiday’s hugely successful book tells us exactly why ‘Ego is the Enemy’. Here he is back at our Chicago event in July telling us exactly why…

Decisions, decisions…
It’s probably the most crucial aspect of leadership. However, research is showing that how you make a decision is just as impactful as the decision you actually make.

Not Brady, Messi or Jordan. I’m talking about the Boston Red Sox – and John W. Henry thinks the new World Series’ champions are the best of the bunch.

A new study has found that adults everywhere need 7-8 hours of sleep to be mentally productive, therefore rebuffing the myth that sleep is personalised. Treat yourself, have a lie in.

Best from the rest
The age old question – what makes great athletes, great? According to Malcolm Gladwell and Alex Hutchinson, enduring pain and learning to be uncomfortable could well be the secret.

We were lucky to have Alex grace the Leaders stage earlier this year in Chicago. If you haven’t seen it, make sure you have a watch here.

Fergie time
I’m not talking about the Old Trafford dugout. In fact, it’s more likely to be the other Old Trafford’s pavilion just down the road. Ed Smith continues to impress in his role as the ECB’s top selector, and he’s taken a page out of Sir Alex’s book when it comes to tinkering with his best XI.

With great power…
Comes great responsibility, or so the saying goes. There also comes a lot of followers, friends and best-selling books. I’m talking about Adam Grant, not Superman, but what keeps him motivated to search for more answers?

One of my favourite talks from the Leaders stage, here’s Adam talking about Givers and Takers back in 2015.

Mental Health – let’s talk about it.


Wow. This is just great.


The six songs that define Pep Guardiola’s life, love, football and family

4 things that entrepreneurs…
…can learn from sports psychologists.

3 words that make Lionel Messi…
…the GOAT

5 key roles for…
high performing teams

5 best TED talks…
…for the creative business athlete

5 concepts that will…
…help your team be more data driven