By Les Duggan, Managing Partner, Developing Potential
Did you watch Team GB at the Olympics? Whether you are a fan of sport or not the success has been hard to miss.
They finished with 29 Gold Medals and remarkably if GB cycling were a country they would have finished 10th in the medal table, an incredible performance and punching well above their weight.
And we can watch and experience it all again with the Paralympics.
So why is this relevant for business leaders and those seeking high performance and better results?
In many interviews medallists said the same things, how much they appreciated the support of their families and their coaches. To quote Dave Brailsford, the British cycling performance director “Fundamentally it’s all about coaching and very good coaching.” As a result they were able to get the very best from their performers’
Questions we are often asked by business
- How do we deliver very good performance over the long-term for our team or organisation?
- How can we step up even further when important tasks come along to deliver at your peak?
- How can our leaders and managers get more from less every day?
- While we have talented people how do we ensure that they are self- responsible and committed?
One sure way of achieving the above is to promote high performance coaching in any organisation.
While we accept that not every employee may be capable of standing on top of the podium, with the right coaching support and challenge, they are all able to deliver their own Gold Medal performance and work to their personal best.
So why does high performance coaching work? Quite simply it engages and empowers employees to give of their best through leaders and mangers believing in them and drawing out their potential. It is based on the two fundamental pillars of Awareness and Responsibility. The leader/coach asks questions that enable team members to think for themselves and which helps them to choose to take responsibility for their actions.
Dave Brailsford tells a wonderful story where he adopted this inclusive coaching style in 2004. After two years into the new way of working his head coach could not accept that the old way of coaching (instruction), telling rather than asking and involving was the right way forward. Dave had a real dilemma – do I carry on with this new style of high performance coaching or do I lose my head coach. His decision was to carry on and his coach left.
Interestingly the results went up after his departure and when he asked the athletes why, they all said it was because they were no longer afraid of failing. By removing their fear they were now responsible for our own performance. In 2008 in Beijing the results of this coaching were self- evident and progress has continued at London 2012 despite the goals posts being moved by cycling’s governing body.
Despite these changes made by the Governing body, to try and share the medals across more teams, the mindset and belief of GB cycling was to just overcome this barrier – another testament to the power of performance coaching done well.
Over the years Developing Potential has worked with two Olympic teams; it has trained some of UK and England Athletics coaches and supported many leaders and businesses to use performance coaching to deliver exceptional sustainable results.
If you would like to replicate the success of Team GB and British Cycling and have an interest in taking performance coaching to another level in your organisation or having coaching for your executives please get in touch. We are happy to share our experience and expertise.