Performance | Jun 13, 2019
Google has the answers, like they usually do; if your team’s set in its ways, try something new; Tyson Fury turned his life around, so you can too

Good morning friends, colleagues and acquaintances, both new and old. Welcome to another bi-weekly sports performance digest, coming at you quicker than a Mohamed Salah penalty, with more precision than a Divock Origi left-footed strike and with the intelligence of a German chap called Jürgen. (Spot the Liverpool FC fan who was in Madrid last weekend). Still drunk on sangria? Maybe. Let’s see how this goes…

6 questions, answered

(1) What can mindfulness do for your team?

Quite a bit. Whether it’s an NBA team or a health care department, mindfulness trumps all it seems.

(2) What are the 10 traits of the very best managers?

Ask Google.

(3) And how quickly can Google tell if someone is a great leader?

5 mins.

(4)What one thing do leaders say is vital to their future success?

Creativity. But don’t just nod and then dismiss it. Take note, and act.

(5)How can you build empathy?

And is being too empathetic a bad thing? Stanford psychologist Jamil Zaki has the answers. He has some further thoughts on HBR here, too.

(6)What’s the ultimate limit of human performance?

Duke University have done the research, and here is what they found.

The Digest, Digested

It’s a numbers game

4am alarms won’t make you successful…

…it may just give you a cold.

10-15min breaks…

…can be good for your team.

6 ways to lead meetings…

…so they engage and inspire.

4 simple tips…

…to help you control your emotions.

5 big companies…

…who swear by mindfulness.

4 questions to ask yourself…

…to see if you’re suffering from burnout.

1st systematic study…

…of advice people would give their younger self.


is the new 10,000 steps, say researchers.

“But this is the way it’s always been done…”

Sound familiar? A phrase that many of you would’ve heard in teams or organisations that are little set in its ways. Need a climate that fosters more innovation? Here are five ways to do so.

Blessings in disguise

When life confronts you with an unplayable piano, what should you do? If you’re Keith Jarrett, you play it. The lesson here is that even in adversity, good can come from it, forcing the mind to concentrate and be creative.

On Cloud No9

As well as being able to tell you the 10 traits of the very best managers, the Football Association are hoping that Google will be able to store and process all the player performance data to help them win games too.

While we have our head in the clouds (sorry…), it’s worth bringing the development of ‘skin electronics’ to your attention, and it’s thanks to Professor Takao Someya.

And finally, a ‘pumping’ patch to help repair damaged hearts. Science is great, isn’t it?

Into the Lioness’ den

The Women’s World Cup is well underway, and England’s Lionesses kicked off with a hard-fought victory over Scotland. The culture that Phil Neville has built off the pitch has been just as important as the quality on the pitch. The key ingredients? Pride and patriotism.

6.1m people tuned it to watch England’s game on Sunday, so there is already a huge amount of interest. Across the pond, Concacaf have also announced their first-ever Women’s soccer strategy, and their first ever Head of Women’s football. #ChangeTheGame

Dutch courage

The Netherlands narrowly missed out on Nations League triumph recently, beating England along the way in Portugal. It feels like the start of a successful era for the Dutch under Ronald Koeman, but why? The fact their captain is the best player in the world? (Spot the Liverpool fan…).  More likely is the pragmatic new approach and an influx of fresh, young talent.

Bjørn and bred

It may be the only life he knows, but as well as being very rewarding the game of golf can be a dark and lonely place. He was the Ryder Cup captain that led Europe to victory last September, but even with that incredible high in Paris his struggles with depression kept him low. A brave and honest piece from Thomas Bjørn.

Humble beginnings

Even though this article was written before Game 5, the same premise still exists. The Raptors remain one win away from their first championship, and they’ve approached the competition in a unique and refreshing way. Be focused. Be humble.

Mental Health – let’s talk about it.


Well said Tyson, well said. Mental health, keep talking about it!


Heard of any great new books to read? Daniel Pink has, and here they are. Follow @NextBigIdeaClub for even more pointers and suggestions.


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