Performance | Jan 23, 2019

Leaders Performance Digest

According to science, less is more; Arsène Wenger comes to the fore; if you want leadership lessons then Stuart Lancaster knows the score.

Hello and welcome one and all to another reminder of what’s as hot and what’s not in the world of high performance. It was officially ‘Blue Monday’ this week, but it’s quite the opposite here at Leaders HQ as our first Sport Performance Summit of the year in Las Vegas is only 38 days away. In the meantime, grab a salad and a non-alcoholic beverage (it’s still detox/dry Jan after all…) and let’s crack on.

5 questions, answered

1.    What can we learn from Jazz music?
Quite a lot, and here are four leadership lessons from Columbia Business School.

2.    How should big organisations scout new technologies?
HBR provide their insight here. Five initial thoughts to get you started…
1. Connectivity to the business.
2. Identifying what areas to scout.
3. Time to do it.
4. Sufficient staffing.
5. Sufficient funding.

3.    Is less really more?
Yep. According to the London Business School, it’s science.

Speaking of less being more, our next Sport Performance Summit is just around the corner on March 2 at UFC in Las Vegas, USA. It’s a one-day event, but with Cirque du Soleil based there and it being ‘City of Lights’ it promises to be much more. All the info can be found, here.

4.    Speaking of science, are there any personality tests out there that aren’t ‘junk’?
Yep, this one. It’s a system built on decades of research about how people describe one another and themselves.

5.    What’s in a name? Quite a lot actually, it seems. Modern psychology teaches us that our perceptions, judgements, decisions, and behaviour are influenced by the way things are worded, or framed.

The Digest, Digested

Burnout Generation
Maybe a bit of harsh label put on millennials by Anne Helen Petersen recently, but is this much talked about generation more susceptible to burnout than those in the past? Is being more resilient the answer? Probably not. Is simplifying complex, contradictory and hostile work and personal environments? Maybe…

Hidden talent
Leaders may think they are short on talent, when in fact they need to look at talent, and their skillsets, in a different light.

Cabra o Bode?
Not another Messi vs. Ronaldo GOAT debate? Yep, it’s another Messi vs. Ronaldo GOAT debate. But I think this one is well worth the read, as the ever thought-provoking 21st Club share their thoughts on how international goals bring a new perspective to this ongoing conversation.

If you ask Arsenal fans who their GOAT is, undoubtedly they’d only speak of one man. Arsène Wenger, Le Professeur. He’s the cover star of Edition 18 of the Performance Journal, which can be found here. Enjoy!

Sticky situation
Comparing GOATs over different generations is near impossible due to how sport changes over time. One reason for this is the equipment they use, and in the NFL one of the biggest performance enhancers are a player’s gloves. NYT explain just how much of a game changer they are here.

Rage against the machine
It could be a good thing. There was no shortage of outrage in 2018, but here is a scientific look at why outrage, and the emotions that go with it, may not be the worst thing.

There’s only one B’s in London
Is the favourite chant of our resident Editor and Barnet FC fan, John Portch. However, it’s the other ‘Bees’ I’m talking about, Brentford FC, who have found great success so far with their innovative ‘B’ team set-up. Anyone out there (maybe US sport in particular?) who are looking to nurture talent on the fringe of their first team, this is an example to follow.

Against the clock
One of cycling’s most gruelling events, the numbers behind ‘the hour record’ are staggering. Is it possible to ride 60km in 60min? Only just…

To play, or not to play
That is the question, for parents at least. But also for coaches working with younger age groups I’d imagine, too. Spontaneous or organised play? That’s the real question here.

Every breath you take
Every move you make,
Every bond you break,
Every step you take,
I’ll be helping to reduce stress, prevent insomnia, control emotion and improve attention…
Is what Sting may sing about how breathing properly can help your health, I’d guess? (Sorry).

Brain Noise
The surprising importance of spontaneous order and noise to how we think.

Mental Health – let’s talk about it.


You may have seen that we are hosting Stuart Lancaster’s series of leadership lessons on our content hub. If you haven’t seen, then they can be found here. Top man, top content.


What makes athletes thrive or dive under pressure? This 5min video by The Economist sheds some light.

It’s a numbers game…

80% more spending…
…will go towards Everton’s academy compared to three years ago

10 themes that George Raveling…
…is still mastering at the grand old age of 81

3 words with…
…Stan Smith – commitment, preparation and perspective

4 things to do…
…before a tough conversation

7 skills to help you…
get along with anybody, according to a Harvard psychiatrist


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