Q3 2019

Q3 2019 | 15 What businesses are learning from sport critical feedback you get in football can be applied much more in business, questions like “Where are we today? Who do we have in what places? How are we performing?” “Constantly analysing and making it better can be applied a lot more in business and you’ll find that you think much more strategically and make small adjustments and pivot, pivot, pivot so you’re always moving forward - but always keeping the people at the heart of decisions is key.” Rebecca’s role at COPA90 is to integrate women’s football into everything that it does, reporting directly into the CEO. COPA90 is the global authority on football culture through storytelling, events and working with some of the major brands to try to connect brand values to football. As captain of Duke University team, Rebecca was coached and influenced by Carla Overbeck - captain of the winning US 1999 World Cup team. Carla taught her to let players know if they weren’t reaching their standards but also praise them for successes, a balance of accountability that she lives by today. Rebecca adds: “What sports and women’s football has brought to the forefront of the rhetoric is that you need more women in decision-making positions, or more diversity for that matter, because you make better decisions for everyone. I think business can and should learn from that.” In comparison, swimming is a sport based on personal goals where world records are continually being broken in the strive for faster times. Former Olympic swimmer David Carry represented Team GB at three Olympics and won two golds for Scotland in the 2006 Commonwealth Games. David co-founded elite leadership coaching company, Track Record, in 2016 with performance scientist Scott Gardener, who coached Olympic gold medallists and worked with Team GB’s cycling and swimming squads. “The most significant lesson I took from sport was that winning isn’t about beating other people but delivering your personal best” said David. “Focusing on other people in any competitive field won’t deliver satisfactory results in the long term, as there’s nothing you can do about their performance. “I quickly came to regard achieving a personal best as the constant success I should aim for. The elite coaching at Team GB pushed us to always identify our own ‘win’, and consistently ask what it takes to achieve that. “It meant no room for activity that doesn’t help you get closer to the win, and this forms a large part of the ethos that Track Record is bringing to the corporate world.” Track Record brings Team GB’s sports science, biometric tech of heart rate and stress reaction and confidence psychology to the boardroom with leadership coaching to C-suite teams including at FTSE 250 companies. David adds: “The biometric data provides leadership teams with a far deeper recognition of who they are as an individual and as a team, but it also destroys their preconceived ideas of what high performance is. It’s not about being relentless, stubborn, or ploughing more hours into work, but how we approach situations in the first place. “In sport, it is commonplace to regularly review performance in order to improve. The business world likes to think it’s similar, but, in reality, most corporate performance reviews come down to justifying past behaviour rather than learning from it. “We work with businesses to ground progress tracking in data and analyse success and failure at a granular level. Performance analysis shouldn’t be an excuse for back-slapping or an exercise in hiding failure, it should focus on the win the organisation wants to achieve and learning how to progress towards it. “We often visit companies which have their ethos or values pasted across a wall, which then get forgotten. In order to fully engage a workforce to work collectively towards an end goal, businesses need to consider a strategy that is built on the values and culture of their business.” “Improved performance doesn’t come overnight, it is the result of creating and following winning habits in the long term.” David concludes: “I still apply many lessons from my Team GB days to nearly every aspect of my business life. The most significant mantra continues to be ‘what does it take to win’. Whether you’re an athlete or in business, you must define what your end goal is and constantly question whether an action will bring you closer to it.”

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