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.
What 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.
- Twelve years as International level swimmer, including an Olympic gold medal in the 100m breaststroke at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games
- Sustained World No. 1 ranking for six consecutive years
- Co-founder and Managing Director, Lane4
- Awarded Best Leader in The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For (2007 and 2009)
- Listed in The Top 30 Most Influential HR Thinkers in the UK (2010 and 2011)
- Official Team GB 2012 Ambassador
- BBC swimming commentator
- Awarded an MBE for his services to swimming (1987)