Performance | Oct 23, 2019

Pixar can help you to tell a good story; if you can make our next event then get in touch with Rory; learn from your rivals to better your chance of glory

Good morning, good afternoon or good evening to some of the best in the business (that’s you!) across the world of high performance sport. I’m back after an extended break between digests to bring you another collection of what’s hot and what’s not across your industry. Shall we get started? Splendid. Carry on.

6 questions, answered

1. Matt, how long until the Leaders Sport Performance Summit 2019?  
Less than 3 weeks. THREE WEEKS! There’s still time to join the other 275 who have already signed up to attend. Need persuading? Here is the latest attendee list, and here is the latest agenda.

2.   What has Microsoft’s Chief People Officer, Kathleen Hogan, learnt about culture change?
These 6 things, and much more I’m sure.

3.   How do you build a successful team? 
If there was a simple answer, then sport would be very boring. Regardless, this Red Bull piece has some useful thoughts and tips on the subject.

4.   Is there a link between stress and depression?
There is. These insights (plus 10 simple words) can really help.

5.   What relevance do Buzz Lightyear and Nemo have to sport?
Storytelling. Pixar are experts at it, and the company’s very own Matthew Luhn shares how you can be memorable, impactful and personal with your communication.

We had Meg LeFauve, the co-writer of Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ on stage a few years ago. Here’s a podcast covering her session on how story, problem-solving and grit can help athletes.

6.   How can the Marines become more lethal? 
With the help from American Football, it seems. Our good friends Steve Gera and Dave Anderson at Gains Group share how they helped Lt Col Warren Cook and the Marines realise this.

The Digest, Digested

It’s a numbers game

10 must-read books…
…on how to work with anyone

5 things leaders do…
…that stifle innovation

1st impressions matter…
…even more for groups

5 simple rules…
…for strategy execution

10 ways to spot ego…
…and how to replace it with self-esteem thoughts (38-min podcast)

5 questions to help you…
…speak up, listen up and facilitate agility, innovation and ethical working

5 blind spots… 
…all leaders should avoid (especially new leaders)

Toughing it out
As alluded to in the piece, pressure moments are part and parcel of elite sport. However, new research from Loughborough University has highlighted the key to resilience in top level sport.

It’s a trend that has become more apparent amongst leaders in most sports. In the Premier League, Messrs Klopp, Guardiola and Pochettino spring to mind for those leading teams who are definitely more ‘coach’ than ‘manager’. Is the ‘command and control’ style of leadership dead? Just about, and HBR tells us why.

Lead like a…
Anthropologist? Yep, that’s right. When it comes to change, and leading change, the key is to observe and make small changes, rather than launching big change initiatives.

Bitter rivals
Should maybe not be so bitter. Borg vs. McEnroe. Prost vs. Senna. Messi vs. Ronaldo. Yankees vs. Red Sox. The list goes on. But undoubtedly along the way, one made the other better. Having the right rival can help you thrive, so stop hating and start learning.

A spoonful of sugar…
Makes the feedback go down? Well yes, it does. But you shouldn’t be sugar-coating your feedback if you want it to be productive and meaningful. Here’s some tips on how to give better and more useful feedback to your team.

Jury service
We’re not talking about a court of law. We’re considering recruitment. Friend and Captain Class author Sam Walker spent three months assessing how organisations interview senior hires, and he’s had enough. Why? There’s an underlying problem with the method. His suggestion? A 360 degree-esque/10-person jury process. Intrigued? Read on.

Looking after No.1 
If you’re reading this, you’re probably in a position where you’re leading an organisation, a team of staff, a group of athletes or maybe just one or two people. But first and foremost, are you leading yourself? You should be. Here’s why.

Mental Health – let’s talk about it.




One of the names that always pops up on our requested speakers list. Legendary psychologist and 2002 Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman explores all things bias, decision making, intuition and more.


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