Where has your passion for performance come from?
As a swimmer, I was continuously driven to become Olympic Champion and sustain my world number one ranking. When I retired from competitive sport my first job was Head of Talent Development for British Swimming. The experience compounded my view that performance should be considered in its broadest sense. It’s not just about working harder or swimming faster, it requires a combination of inputs.
Who is your leadership role model and why?
It has to be Terry Dennison and Terry Gathercole - two of my swimming coaches.
Terry D had never been a competitive swimmer- in fact he couldn’t even swim! He taught me that my role as a leader isn’t to do someone else’s job for them, but rather empower them and allow their talent to emerge.
Terry G always asked great questions and gave specific, performance-focused feedback. I try to model these qualities in my daily leadership role at Lane4.
What is your Lane4 career highlight?
Designing a global coaching framework for a multi-national manufacturing company and delivering it in 25 countries. I personally ran the programme in Brazil, tailoring the content to create something meaningful for a Latin American audience. It was an amazing opportunity.
Another highlight was being invited to speak about personal resilience at Harvard Business School in 2011. The opportunity to represent Lane4 and share our thought leadership in such prestigious surroundings was an honour for me.
What do you think gives organisations the winning edge?
I think it’s a combination of four things:
A clear strategy that is shaped and owned by the whole company
A leadership and management culture that treats employees as adults
Not being afraid to challenge what the organisation does and giving clear feedback
Not just thinking about innovation but actually doing it