From Anxiety to Excitement; The Game Within the Game


Key messages from the recent Rugby Innovation Summit

Increased levels of professionalism within sport have meant that athletes have become bigger, stronger, faster and more powerful in recent years. But how can we ensure that corporate athletes optimise their performance in a business landscape that means every day is ‘game day’ and allows very little time for ‘training’?


On Tuesday 24th May 2016, at The Stoop for The Rugby Innovation Summit 2016, Dave Alred & Colonel Ewen Murchison offered some fascinating insights into the psychology of performance; many of which align with our own thinking at Lane4:


1. ‘Better people make better performers.’

As a leader, it is important that you are able to recognise absence of the normal and presence of the abnormal amongst your team. Take the time to get to know your ‘team mates’ and help them flourish as individuals, not just as employees.


2. ‘Train the brain.’

Personal resilience is of paramount importance to business success. The frequency and intensity of resilience training should be the same as any other form of training, and as with other types, it should be continuous and measured; just as an athlete would do with their physical fitness. Ensure that your employees are equipped to impose themselves on a situation, rather than merely responding to it.


3. ‘By design, for advantage.’

When it comes to your strategy, do you have a plan or are you planning? Successful leaders are flexible and able to shift their plans based upon ever-changing business demands. Don’t be too proud to go back to the drawing board and do additional planning; using all of the resources and expertise available.


4. ‘What happens round here when no one is watching.’

The culture that you co-create with your team is crucial for business success. An engaged workforce can achieve so much more than their disengaged counterparts. Allow employees a sense of ownership over their day-to-day working lives and they will repay you in the long run.


5. ‘What’s your moral medicine?’

Even when we fail, the brain learns, but sometimes we need some moral medicine to get us back on the horse. Consider how you reward standout performances and discipline those who are not delivering. This will have a huge impact on the culture that you create and its long terms effects.


6. ‘I’m nervous!’ ‘Good! Keep talking to me!’

Fear and excitement are interchangeable. As a leader, it is crucial that you are able to coach your team and ensure that challenging situations can be seen as exciting opportunities to succeed. You should have a coaching toolkit that allows you to get the best out of your people.


7. ‘The most important shot is the first one.’

Whilst business is not always conducive to training or practice, it is crucial that you and your team start your match feeling ready to perform at your best. Where possible, provide opportunities to develop your expertise, but ensure that there are consequences attached to your actions; just as there would be with the real thing.


Do you need support creating a more resilient workforce? Is your strategy in need of some support? Can we help you co-create an enabling culture? Would you like us to upskill your coaches?

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