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The Lane4 journal – insights on peak performance

Issue 4, 2012 – Inside this journal 04 Blood, Sweat & Tears 14 Skill, Script and Spin 19 How to Thrive in the Emotion Epidemic 22 Derailment 39 Got Potential? 42 Saracens Personal Development Programme

Conflict in teams

– is there an upside? page 10

About Lane4

The Wave. Issue 4 October 2012 Published by: Lane4 Management Group Ltd St Marks House Station Road Bourne End Buckinghamshire SL8 5QF United Kingdom t +44 (0)1628 533 733 f +44 (0)1628 533 766 twitter @Lane4Group Follow us on LinkedIn

With competition getting tougher all the time, the margins that separate winning businesses from their less successful rivals can often be very small. At Lane4, we’re here to ensure you have the edge. As leading experts in human performance, we’ll work with you and your people to help individuals and teams reach their fullest potential, and to build sustainable competitive advantage across your organisation. What gives us the edge over others in our field? A unique combination of skills and experience, brought together by an inspirational group of people with an outstanding track record of achievement in the three interlocking areas of business, psychology, and high level sport.

Editorial team

Winning performance doesn’t happen by chance. If you’d like to find out how Lane4 can help you raise your game, we’d love to hear from you.

Editor Dr. Austin Swain

Further information

Assistant Editor Kelly Walsh

For further information about how Lane4 can help your organisation, please email

Editorial Assistant Emma Weeks No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means including copying and recording, without written permission from the copyright owner, application for which should be addressed to Lane4. Opinions expressed in The Wave journal are not necessarily those of Lane4. Whilst every effort has been made to verify statements of fact by contributors, no responsibility is accepted for errors or omissions by them. © 2012 Lane4 Important notice: This publication and its content is not intended to imply any association between Lane4 and the IOC, BOA, BPA, LOCOG, or the London Games 2012

Lane4 Branding and The Wave Design and Art Direction by Neon Design & Brand Consultancy General For website, speaking opportunities and media enquiries, please email For research enquiries, please email Lane4: the story behind our name On 19 September 1988, Britain’s Adrian Moorhouse lined up for the final of the 100 metres breaststroke at the Seoul Olympic Games. Having qualified in the fastest time, he was in lane 4, giving him a small but potentially crucial advantage over his competitors. He came home with the Gold medal. And also – though he didn’t realise it at the time – with the perfect name for the business he would co-found just a few years later, with leading performance psychologist Professor Graham Jones and business executive Adrian Hutchinson…

The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

CONTENTS REGULARS 02 News 07 In Transition 17 Interview: Alan Murchison 25 Practitioner Perspective 34 Performance Matters 48 Hot Topics 50 Our Contributors 52 4U: Recommendations

FEATURES & ARTICLES 04  Blood, Sweat & Tears 10 Conflict in Teams – Is there an upside? 14  Leadership Communication – Skill, script and spin 19  How toThrive in the Emotion Epidemic 22 Derailment: An alternate lens for understanding leadership talent 26 All Change – Learning from transitions in sport 28  A Mindful Approach to Performance Enhancement 31  Winning Leadership: High performance in sport and business 36  Developing Resilience – Lessons learned from Olympic champions 39 Got Potential? 42  Saracens Personal Development Programme 46 Making Organistions More Social


Welcome to The Wave


he 2012 Games were a resounding success in every way. Even the harshest critics succumbed to the inspiration of our greatest athletes and the nation embraced sport like never before. But what now? Sport in the UK is facing a new challenge; will the Games be seen as the pinnacle of achievement or a catalyst for greater things? For me, this is what the current edition of The Wave is about; in a nutshell ‘Better Never Stops’. Andy Hunt, Chief Executive of the BOA, appears to be living the team’s motto. He recently went on record, telling The Telegraph that Team GB can do even better in Rio, even without the home advantage. To do this would mean bucking the trend of declining performance for host nations following a Home Games. This is a great model for business, where it’s not about hitting goals and taking the foot off the pedal, but powering through and pushing to achieve even greater things in the future. So how do we do this? We can start by recognising that performance isn’t just about outcomes; Gold medals don’t happen by chance. Behind a compelling and motivating outcome there needs to be a meticulous focus on process; the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure high performance when it counts. We touch on some of these processes throughout this edition, looking at talent development (Derailment, Saracens Personal Development Programme and Got Potential?), managing conflict in teams (Conflict in Teams – is there an upside?), bouncing back from set-backs (Triumph through Blood, Sweat and Tears) and supporting transitions (All Change). We also look at what ‘Better Never Stops’ could mean in your organisation. Finally, I believe ‘Better Never Stops’ is also a mindset. It requires ambition, courage and optimism backed up with the discipline to make stretching dreams become reality. Lord Coe epitomised this back in 2005, providing a more enticing vision for the Games than the competition. And then he delivered.

Austin Swain

Research and Product Director, Lane4


The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

BOA event: Translating Olympic Excellence to your business team

A On the following pages we’ve rounded up the best of Lane4’s news and events from the past six months, as featured in our monthly e-newsletter, ‘Engage’. To be kept up to date every month, sign up to Engage via our website. register If you do not have a QR reader you can still access all of our news stories via our website.

Follow Lane4 on LinkedIn and Twitter. Keep up to date with Lane4’s latest news, events, research and thoughts by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter! LinkedIn – Lane4 Twitter - @Lane4Group Let us know what you think, what you want to hear more of, and what works well for you.

s London was getting set to host the world’s greatest sporting spectacle, Team GB was preparing to perform on the biggest stage of all. The one day ‘Inside Track on Team GB’ was a unique opportunity for senior executives and their business teams to hear seminars from (and spend a day in the company of) Sir Clive Woodward, Deputy Chef de Mission Team GB. The day was facilitated by Adrian Moorhouse, at Team GB House, overlooking the Olympic Park on 19th June 2012. In particular, delegates: • Explored the individual and collective resilience required to recover from setbacks, thrive under pressure and deliver when it counted the most • Explored the mind-set of high performing individuals and what Olympic messages could mean for business • Understood the components of the Creating Champions model – teachability, thinking correctly under pressure and attitude to win • Identified practical tools for developing champion behaviours and leading teams more effectively Read the full case study of this event here:

Lane4 Motivation Barometer: Morale of British workers hit by economic crisis


ane4’s recent Motivation Barometer revealed the detrimental impact the current economic climate is having on the British workforce with more than half (52%) saying they had not had a pay rise for at least two years and 57% admitting they have no clear path for career progression. In the midst of the government’s austerity measures, low consumer spending, the Eurozone crisis and rising unemployment, the study of 1,500 UK employees showed only half of British workers (52%) actually feel motivated. To add to this, a third of employees (33%) feel so down about work that they’re looking for a new job and a further 21% say whilst they’re not actively ‘looking’ they would consider new job opportunities if they came alon Read the full press release here:

The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

Latest Lane4 white papers How effective are your leaders? Analysis of 360 degree feedback data

T Lane4’s Greg Searle wins bronze at The Games


ane4’s Greg Searle and the GB men’s eight took bronze at the London 2012 Olympics Games. The British crew led world champions Germany in the Olympic final before being over taken in the last 500m. The Germans’ imposed their authority in the final third of the race to pull well clear, before Canada narrowly overtook GB to pip them to the silver medal. Here at Lane4 we are all proud of Greg’s steely determination and his incredible motivation and talent that led him to being picked to represent our country. He did a brilliant job, as did the rest of the eight, and we send him our enormous congratulations on winning bronze!

his report summarises key themes from an analysis of 1,992 360-degree feedback ratings of 194 leaders, across twelve different organisations from a range of sectors. These 360-degree questionnaires were administered to leaders as part of leadership programmes that they were involved in. Download the white paper here:

Talent Tactics: How can you plug the talent gap?


he ground has shifted in talent management over recent years. Faced with the reality of fewer upward promotions, limited pay rises and restricted bonuses, many employers feel as if they are fighting a war with no ammunition. Lane4 hosted a round-table discussion for Business Leaders, Talent Managers and HR Professionals from seven large firms and two British sporting institutions, to explore current talent management challenges, share best practice, and discuss


the future of talent management. Download the white paper here:

Lane4 Blogs Re-live the highs and lows of this summer’s Home Games in the ‘Inside Track’ – translating the sporting action into relevant business lessons.

Commentate is our new blog which shares our insights into the exciting world of communication. We talk about our experiences and observations of internal comms, offering you our views on the latest news, trends and best practice.


The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

Triumph through Blood, Sweat and Tears ARTICLE BY Christian



pril 12th 2009 – Tom Williams is instructed to fake an injury during the Heineken Cup Quarter Final by biting on a blood capsule. The act enables Harlequins to make a ‘blood substitution’ which is the only way to get their kicker back on the field to try and win the match. The scandal that became known as ‘Bloodgate’ brought the game of rugby from the back pages to the front. Bloodgate made Tom a household name throughout the country and beyond. The ramifications were considerable; jobs were lost, bans were put in place, and laws were changed. On a personal note Tom had the toughest two years of his life. May 26th 2012 – Tom Williams lifts the Aviva Premiership Trophy having scored a try in Harlequins victory over Leicester Tigers at Twickenham. So the big question is how did Tom manage to turn it around from the lowest low to playing a major role in securing the first Premiership Trophy in the club’s history?

Firstly, we will briefly look back at own terms and be remembered for the events that immediately followed something other than Tom Williams the scandal. – Bloodgate”. Tom recognised this as a turning point in his evaluation of “I was naive as to my the event. culpability; the club assured Whilst Tom acknowledged his me that I would not be the role in the incident and regretted his actions, following independent main focus of attention”. legal counsel, he was made more As the days passed Tom quickly conscious of the fact that he had realised that he was to be the only been made a scapegoat. Tom focus of attention. Tom received made the difficult decision to a 12 month ban whilst others central come clean about the whole to the scandal were not issued with thing, meaning he would have any form of punishment other than to implicate others. a fine for the club.

“During and after the initial ruling I was physically ill with stress and lost two stone, it was the worst period of my life. I remember telling my girlfriend Alex that I had no fight left in me and I seriously contemplated walking away from rugby.” It was Alex who said something that really stuck in Tom’s mind “You can finish on this, or finish on your

“This was the most stressful time of all for me, even though I was telling the truth. That was the biggest dilemma as I felt a responsibility to the other people involved, but ultimately it was my name and my life.” As a result of the new evidence, which clearly showed that Tom was not acting alone, Tom’s ban was reduced to four months whilst the head coach left the club and was

The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

banned from rugby for three years, and the club Physio and Doctor also received lengthy bans. Tom recognised that the impact of coming clean was as long lasting as the event itself. However, he was determined to put the whole thing behind him and concentrate on his rugby when he returned after his ban. Yet this proved more difficult than first thought.

“When I came back from my ban I was inconsistent at best, I cared much more about what people thought of me and was very aware of my raised profile. As a result I would no longer back myself but give the ball to someone else and support them – I did this for the best part of two years”. During this period Alex referred to watching a ‘semi-skimmed’ Tom.

“I was petrified of making a mistake, petrified of public scrutiny. I just wanted a low profile and not to attract any attention. My confidence had gone”.


The coaches and managers quickly picked up on this and started to ask him where his ‘x-factor’ was. This was a frustrating time for Tom as he was performing consistently well in training, being one of the top trainers in the squad, week in week out, but did not convert this form onto the pitch.

“I only really started coming good last season – nearly three years after Bloodgate. It was a case of something clicking in my head. I just said to myself you can do this in training so just go and do it on the pitch. It was a slow build of confidence towards backing myself again, trusting in my ability.” Tom acknowledges that there were a number of contributing factors to this. Firstly, it was clear from talking to coaches in his mid-year appraisal that his life at Harlequins would be drawing to an end unless something changed.

“This was a turning point as I made up my mind that this news would not have a negative impact on the way I played. I saw it that I had no choice but to perform.” This news of job insecurity was coupled with the fact that he was one month away from becoming a father for the first time. Tom’s performances started getting better as his confidence in his ability returned.


The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

“I started playing for the future, as opposed to thinking about the past. My confidence started to build and build – I definitely started to care less about what people were saying, or what I imagined they were saying. All I really wanted to do was to perform to the best of my ability and go home and see my son.”

and culminated in scoring the first try in the Premiership final.

“It’s funny in the week leading up to the final, Bloodgate did not enter my mind once. I was just really looking forward to playing, and playing well. I had the best game I’ve ever had for Quins. I was playing with a real confidence and every decision that I made “I re-built my confidence with was the correct one.” a succession of small things When quizzed around the specifics and importantly concentrating that allowed him to re-gain this confidence Tom acknowledged on doing the basics really that it was not just one point but a well. This started on my first number of contributing factors. opportunity back in the first team since returning from 1) S low Building of injury and the appraisal.” confidence Harlequins were playing away at European giants Toulouse and Tom came off the bench with 20 minutes to go, with Quins down on the scoreboard. Tom’s first act was to chase the kick off, tackle the French International winger Vincent Clerc and in the same movement turn the ball over. This was followed by several other telling contributions. Harlequins went on to win and after the game the Director of Rugby told Tom that they would not have won without his impact.

“It was a combination of luck, being in the right place at the right time, but also the acknowledgment of my own skill and ability.” Tom’s confidence and subsequent performances grew from that game

– “The Toulouse game was definitely a catalyst in rebuilding my confidence.”

Tip – Recognise, record and most importantly learn from success to build confidence


 oing back to basics G –“I really looked at my game and concentrated on doing the simple things really well which helped re-build my confidence in my ability.”

Tip – It is key to have a number of identities i.e. not to see yourself solely as a rugby player or team leader

4) Fighting for my career – “This made me start playing for the future as opposed to thinking about the past.” Tip – As hard as it can be it is important to recognise what is and what isn’t in our control and then focus on the controllables.” Over three years ago Tom was asked to do something for the greater good of the team which he did without thought and recognises that this was wrong. So what has changed? Today Tom reflects back on the past few years and acknowledges that,

“I’m a better tackler than I ever was, I’m a better kicker, a better passer off both hands and I’ve got a better rugby brain than ever. I know I have all those skills and I know that if I put them all together I am the best winger at this club and I truly believe that – that belief is what I had to find again after Bloodgate.”

Tip – Have a more regular focus on process goals, performance and outcome goals will take care of themselves So now when faced with a difficult decision Tom takes a moment Life outside of rugby – and asks himself ‘Is this the right “Freddie (Tom’s son) definitely thing to do? Would I be proud of gave me perspective which the decision I make going allowed me to play with a more forward?’, and then acts on this, care free attitude.” and this alone.


The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012


In transition… We explore how members of Lane4 transfer their skills, learnings and approaches into the principles of high performance business practices. FEATURING Lee Fisher


ee Fisher is a true performer in every sense of the word. His career to-date includes dancing as a soloist for 17 years at the Birmingham Royal Ballet, consulting with business on leadership and high performance and co-founding the Freefall Dance Company, a company for young dancers with severe learning disabilities. In this article he takes us through his journey and what he has learnt about performance on the way. Finding a passion I believe that finding something you love doing is a real gift and I was fortunate to do this early on.

I remember as a young child watching Gene Kelly dance in ‘Singing in the rain’ and just thinking ‘this guy is amazing’. Maybe not the average reaction of a kid growing up in Essex during the mid 70s, but something about the way he moved made me want to dance. So I persuaded my parents to send me to a local dance school. My teacher there, a lovely octogenarian lady, always talked about the greats of British ballet and, although I started out wanting to be a tap dancer, she convinced me that ballet was worth trying. From the beginning I fell in love with it, there was something about the attention to detail and the desired effortlessness but extreme physicality that drew me in. As I improved, I began to appreciate the motivational impact that mastery can have. The precision was exciting for me. Every day, as a dancer you are fighting for that extra inch...get that leg higher, jump higher, do that extra turn. It was a real challenge and one that I enjoyed. By the time I’d reached 10 years old I knew I wanted to be in this field so I joined the Arts Education School in Barbican. This was the beginning of a wonderful education. Following my father’s relocation to Chester I

decided I wanted to take my training further and had my sights set on the best: The Royal Ballet School. The hard work begins I was 13 when I applied to the Royal Ballet School and my parents were really supportive despite not wanting me to leave home at such a young age. The auditions were extremely rigorous as the competition was so high. We even had hand x-rays so our height could be predicted by the distance between our joints. The hospital concluded I was unlikely to be successful based on this but I somehow made it though. It was hard to begin with. Leaving my comfortable family home for the basic conditions of White Lodge and being told what to do 24 hours a day, but I began to thrive on the routine. I remember one specific turning point where a particularly fierce teacher shouted me down and I felt tears well-up in my eyes. I was way behind technically as I’d started later than the other boys in my year. He told me to see him at the end of class and I thought it was over for me. Each year you need to meet strict criteria or you are selected out of the system; it’s tough but you knew that


The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

when you got there. However, the teacher surprised me. He said that he had been hard on me because he thought I could do something really special. Since that moment, I’ve really understood the power of ‘belief in potential’. He showed faith in me and that helped me to believe that I could do great things. I went from strength to strength and was really buoyed by the environment. It was as though high performance was in the very fabric of the building. You were surrounded by photos of the great

You are exposed to potential employers through shows and assessments. If you are good enough you get offered apprenticeships where you perform as an extra for companies on tour. This is where it starts to become real. I still remember getting a phone call on a Friday from the school Principal with an offer to go to Hong Kong by the following Monday. I was flown out, put

treated like the Beatles in Japan. I had the opportunity to work with some great partners. I was able to dance some of the solo roles that inspired me early on and create lovely new work that is still performed around the world. But there were also difficult times, for example coping with chronic injuries Then there were the nerves. People think that to be able to

into a costume three times too big, given a false beard and shoved out in to the arena. It was a massive thrill British ballet dancers and as you and I remember thinking ‘this is why walked through the door of the I’ve been doing this’. From then on White Lodge there was a big bronze I really started to learn about the of Margot Fontain wearing a tutu artistry of ballet – not just about with her arms stretched out. The the technique. It is this side of ballet tips of her fingers were all polished that really continues to play a huge gold where little girls had brushed role in the work I do now, both in their hand past for luck over many community projects and with leaders. years. This kind of environment really The importance of presence, impact makes you want to give everything and storytelling transcend the arts. you can to your performance. Taking the stage Preparing to perform I feel lucky to have gone on to an I successfully passed through the amazing career in ballet; performing years and reached the upper school. at The Royal Opera House and on This is where, at age 16-19, you Broadway; travelling to the Far East are prepared for moving into the and New Zealand – truly worldwide. industry. You are put into separate Audiences were always fascinating groups based on performance and in their response, some reserved directors start to know who you are. but respectful, others not! We were

perform in front of thousands of people you must be completely in control, not even noticing the pressure, but this isn’t true. Once my role had progressed to more than walk-ons I began to get quite anxious so I worked hard to prepare as well as I could. I’d know my routines inside out and have really strict preperformance routines. For example, I’d clench my fist when I needed a surge of adrenalin. I believe that changing your physical presence can change how you feel and it really worked for me. I think I coped well through these challenges because I was good at gaining perspective, knowing what I could affect and what I couldn’t, but also through the great support that was available to me. I worked in well resourced companies with a great

Image 1-6 Photography: courtesy of The Birmingham Royal Ballet Image 7 Photography: courtesy of Usborne Publishing Image 9 Photography: courtesy of Alex Griffiths

The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

medical centre, physiotherapists and facilities. Even more importantly, I had amazing social support. We’d train, rehearse and perform together so there was a real sense of belonging which can help get you through anything.

do so on my own terms. Something that had been such a big part of my life and was integral to my identity deserved to be ended properly. My favourite role came back into the repertoire, the one that I felt I had

performed best in my career and the one I loved the most. So I decided No longer the soloist it would be my last. My show was During the last five years of my career perfect, I couldn’t have written the script better. It was at my home I began to split my time between working with groups, particularly theatre in Birmingham, performing in dance and disability settings, my favourite role in front of my and performing. I also became friends and family. I’d said goodbye on interested in the psychology behind my terms and was ready to embrace performance and dance, studying my other roles. for a Masters in Applied Dance. From leading man to This was a massive catalyst for me and leadership introduced me to the wider world of dance and how it can influence other Following my retirement I successfully applied for the people’s lives. My career, up to this point, had been all about me. I began Clore Leadership programme. to get a new sense of belonging from They select 25 high potentials from the culture sector and provide a working with these groups. I knew what had worked for me when being bursary to live on for a year whilst coached and wanted to bring this to providing mentoring, coaching and secondments. It was through group work. Dance and education in the community is not really about one of these training programmes technique and this is one of the things that I was introduced to Lane4 and started to develop my ideas about I really like; I don’t enjoy teaching ballet classes, I enjoy enabling people what dance can bring to business. Stage craft is about owning the to dance. At 35 I was ready to move on from impact you have when you walk into my dancing career but wanted to a room and leaders need to do the


same thing. This isn’t about acting but authentically finding it within you. I began to find many other parallels: performing under pressure, connecting with an audience, teamwork, coaching and performance environments to name but a few. I continue to apply these to

workplace settings providing a different take on performance. And Finally… I feel lucky that I get to work in such different environments but I think the thread that runs through them is creating the space for people to express themselves. The biggest thing I’ve had to learn throughout these transitions is how to let go of control. For example, when I’m directing a performance I have to remember that I can’t get on the stage; I can’t do it for them but I have to encourage them to take as much responsibility as possible. From my early experiences I realise the power of someone putting their hand on your shoulder and saying ‘I know you can do this, you’re going to be great’… now it’s a joy to be able to do this for others.


The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

Conflict in teams – is there an upside? ARTICLE BY Eleanor


Hanley & Vicky Wells

onflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.” – Max Lucade1 As far back as Ancient Greece, fighting was banned during the Olympics as it was seen as disrespectful to the Gods. Fast forward a millennium or two and this ban on fighting seems to be no longer with us considering instances of infighting between athletes. A recent example is that of a disagreement between Lizzie Armitstead and Nicole Cooke, both members of the GB women’s cycling team. In an interview with Cycling Weekly, Armitstead stated that Cooke “didn’t do her job properly” (as a pacemaker) which contributed to the lack of medals for the team in Copenhagen. Armitstead went on to say that she had “never seen her (Cooke) ride for a team mate” and that she was glad she had voiced this as it had been an “unspoken situation for too long.”2 In an interview in January 2012 Armitstead stated, “I’m happy I said it because it has brought the issue out and I think we’ll be a better team for

it.”3 But was involving the press the best way to deal with the issue? Clumsy tackling of conflict in teams also appears to be an issue in business. In 2008, the CIPD suggested that the estimated cost to British business due to ineffective conflict management is £24 billion a year4 in lost working days. Team working in business demands the cooperation of individuals who have their own personal agendas. This may give rise to conflict which must be managed to ensure that performance does not suffer. And what of Armitstead’s comment that the team are better for it? Is there a potential upside of conflict? This article will explore the positive side of conflict and some considerations for harnessing it within your workplace.

better trying to happen’. This means that people are not satisfied with things as they are, and there is an opportunity for things to be improved. Armitstead’s view, outlined above, fits this way of thinking. Research in performance psychology suggests that certain types of conflict, when timed correctly and in the right amount can actually improve performance. What are the different types of conflict?

There are three types of conflict that we should consider in relation to teams; task6, relationship7 and process8 (see sidebar). Imagine your weekly team meeting - an example of task conflict may be that you, as a team, disagree on the best route to market for a product. Relationship So what exactly is conflict? conflict might occur if two of your team members seem to clash in Conflict happens when a person perceives that their opinions, values terms of personality, or rub each or beliefs in relation to some issue other up the wrong way, whereas differ from those of someone else.5 process conflict could occur when However, an alternative perspective there is disagreement on who should on conflict is that it’s ‘something work on a new project.

1 2 3 4 5 De Dreu, C.K.W., Harinck, F. & Van Vianen, A.E.M. (2001). Conflict and performance in groups and organizations. In C. L. Cooper & I. T. Robertson (Eds.), International review of industrial and organizational psychology (Vol. 14, pp. 376 – 405). Chichester, UK: Wiley 6 De Dreu, C.K.W. & West, M.A. (2001). Minority Dissent and Team Innovation: The Importance of Participation in Decision Making. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(6), 1191- 1201. 7 Janis, I. L. (1972). Victims of Groupthink. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 8 Jehn, K.A. & Mannix, E.A. (2001). The Dynamic Nature of Conflict: A Longitudinal Study of Intragroup Conflict and Group Performance. The Academy of Management Journal, 44(2), 238-251.

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“Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.” – Max Lucade

The Benefit of Task & Process Conflict

Task conflict can be beneficial at the start and midpoint of a project but not close to the deadline where there simply isn’t time to deal with it effectively. Process conflict, or disagreement on who does what, can be beneficial in the formation of a group as it helps with effective delegation of roles.11 It also helps people to clarify what the role boundaries are.

between task and relationship conflict, suggesting both tend to happen together.13 However, these Research suggests that task researchers highlight the importance conflict stimulates creativity and of trust being present in a team aids decision-making.9 Imagine a which provides a buffer against complete absence of conflict – things becoming more personal. where a team agrees on everything? Other conditions have been What type of decision making does identified which make it that result in? This phenomenon more likely that conflict will of groupthink, occurring when escalate and become detrimental highly cohesive groups fail to to a group. These include question information properly How much conflict competition for resources, lack of because of the importance that they is a good thing? clarity on who is responsible for place on consensus, was identified what, and communication barriers.14 While high levels of conflict decrease as far back as the 1970’s.10 How many performance, low levels of conflict times have you sat in a team meeting suggest that the group do not care, or Task conflict or group project and not voiced are complacent about the task. If too a dissenting opinion as you didn’t Differences between individuals little and too much are detrimental want to ‘rock the boat’. What would in relation to a task without it then moderate amounts appear to be have happened if Armitstead had not becoming personal just right for improving commented on Cooke – would this performance.12 Moderate levels of Relationship conflict have negatively impacted on Team conflict allow groups to consider GB’s ability to perform at Differences in personal taste, new perspectives and decide which the Olympics? values and the style in which solution to implement. people interact with each other. Getting the timing right But what if differences of Process conflict It is important to consider opinion on a task become more personal? Differences in how to carry out a • The stage of a task a group is at task e.g. resourcing or delegation • The team’s stage of development Researchers have found a link 9 Jehn, K.A. (1995). A Multi-method Examination of the Benefits and Detriments of Intragroup Conflict. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40(2), 256-282. 10 De Dreu, C.K.W. & Weingart, L.R. (2003). Task Versus Relationship Conflict, Team Performance, and Team Member Satisfaction: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(4), 741-749. 11 Reid, C., Stewart, E. & Thorne, G. (2004). Multidisciplinary sport science teams in elite sport: Comprehensive servicing or conflict and confusion. The Sport Psychologist, 18, 204-217. 12 De Dreu, C.K.W. & Beersma, B. (2005). Conflict in organizations: Beyond effectiveness and performance. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 14(2), 105-117. 13 De Dreu, C.K.W. & Van Vianen, A.E.M. (2001). Managing Relationship Conflict and the Effectiveness of Organizational Teams. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 22(3), 309-328. 14 15 Jehn, K.A. (1995). A Mult-imethod Examination of the Benefits and Detriments of Intra-group Conflict. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40(2), 256-282. 16 De Dreu, C.K.W. & West, M.A. (2001). Minority Dissent and Team Innovation: The Importance of Participation in Decision Making. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(6), (p.1192)


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Relationship Conflict Relationship conflict is thought to be detrimental as it distracts us, creating negative emotions which take up our attention, leaving us with less attention to focus on the task in hand.15 Relationship conflict is also suggested to decrease pro-social behaviour in a group meaning individuals are less likely to go the extra mile for each other.16 Relationship conflict is detrimental to performance so it is important that this type of conflict be managed effectively.

2. E  stablish conditions of trust and openness

There needs to be conditions in place which promote receptiveness to voicing opposing views.18 Researchers have identified the need for the team to be willing to take on, critically evaluate and apply new information to a task so that differences in opinion can benefit performance.19 This is best done by contracting at the start of projects or when teams form. It is common for time to be spent clarifying purpose and processes but much rarer to spend time making explicit how people will work So how can you harness together; how they are likely to react the power of difference under pressure and what support in your team? they want when that happens. Discussing this in advance creates positive expectations and lays the 1. I dentify what’s really foundations for building trust and going on using data clear communication. Contracting Facilitate open conversation on also creates an atmosphere of trust how people are experiencing team where people feel they can be open interactions through team reflection. without censure even if they are In commenting on the Armitsteadwrong. They may expect challenge Cooke conflict; Dave Brailsford but feel confident they will always be (GB Cycling Coach) stated; It’s up respected. It is important leaders are to us to manage the situation, which patient, good at listening and model we will, but behind closed doors. respect at all times to develop this We are a straight-talking group in a team. and everything that needs saying has been said in the back of the 3. Be clear on roles and team bus or the proper debrief.17 expectations While this is the ideal situation, This often gets set up at the what if the group are reticent to beginning of a task but needs to be share their opinions? Anonymous regularly revisited as boundaries, and team member surveying and team people’s perceptions of them, often observation from an external change. This ‘team charter’ needs to person can help build a picture of include who is responsible for what what’s really going on. Considering and expectations on behaviour. personality preferences or preferred team roles may also have a bearing on sources of conflict.

4. Communicate effectively The nature of team interaction also has a bearing on the impact of conflict.20 For example, for teams that consist of members who work virtually, conflict is more likely as the nature of their interactions makes effective communication more challenging. When there is conflict it can be very helpful to get underneath the issues by breaking things down into a person’s intention with their communication and the impact it had on the recipient.

17 Hinds, P.J. & Bailey, D.E.(2003). Out of Sight, Out of Sync: Understanding Conflict in Distributed Teams. Organization Science, 14(6), 615-632. 18 19 De Dreu, C.K.W. & West, M.A. (2001). Minority Dissent and Team Innovation: The Importance of Participation in Decision Making. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(6), (p.1192) 20 Hinds, P.J. & Bailey, D.E.(2003). Out of Sight, Out of Sync: Understanding Conflict in Distributed Teams. Organization Science, 14(6), 615-632.

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The two are often assumed to be the same but frequently, where conflict arises, there is a big gap between them. It’s important to bear in mind that we tend to judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions. 5. Align agendas Going back to our original sporting example; what may be at the root of this issue is the difficulty in leading teams of people with individual agendas. What’s more important? A medal for yourself, or the overall team standing?

It may depend on what the team is incentivised to do. What is rewarded by your organisation? In business, a key aspect of leading teams is to ensure that team members are aligned behind a vision which contributes to that of the organisation. This draws attention to the role of the team leader. As Dave Brailsford comments; “What is clear is that on race day you need clarity of thought, understanding of the team’s tactics and acceptance by everybody concerned. Nothing less will be good enough.”21


Teams need to have a shared understanding and willingness to commit to what the team wants to achieve. This is about focusing on both team and individual goals rather than sacrificing one for the other. So where does that leave us? While conflict often has a negative impact on performance, in certain circumstances it can result in improved performance. This happens through the generation of more creative ideas and preventing consensus in a group from being reached too quickly. In order to facilitate this, teams need to understand what is going on that may be unsaid, have conditions in place which support open discussion, trust each other, be clear about who is responsible for what, communicate effectively and develop individual agendas that are aligned to those of the team. In this way the power of difference can be harnessed to improve performance. Tips for harnessing the power of difference

1. Identify what’s going on using data 2. Establish conditions of trust and openess 3. Be clear on roles and expectations 4. Communicate effectively 5. Align agendas



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Leadership Communication Skill, Script and Spin ARTICLE BY Natalie



eaders’ communication skills are under the spotlight in an unprecedented fashion. In a world of radical transparency, anything less than complete honesty just won’t cut it anymore. We know when we’re being spun and we don’t like it. But, finding a means to persuade others that your plans are worthwhile is the cut and thrust of leadership. So, with a fine line between skilled rhetoric and ridiculed spin, often associated with scripting, what are the lessons for leaders?

true to their key message or one big idea. They present it differently for different people (Audience) but the message remains free from ambiguity and its intent is clear. When it comes to Delivery, don’t be fooled by technological advances and the unequivocal status of social media. I simply don’t believe that employees go home thankful that they read a brilliant intranet article or saw a good vodcast from the CEO. As undeniably useful as technology is when it comes to internal communications, people will always value an honest conversation Skill: The basics of good with their boss more. Tools can communication support this conversation but not There’s no such thing as a great leader replace it.  Exceptional leaders don’t who communicates poorly and the just shine in formal and structured specific skills required by leaders fall communication environments within the simple acronym M.A.D. (conferences, speeches, town (Message, Audience, Delivery). The hall meetings), they have proper key message is the one big idea; it’s conversations with people when they the reason you’re communicating and see them and when those people need shouldn’t be confused with content it. They don’t just lurk by the water (the story or words you may use to cooler because it’s ‘authentic’ to talk get a message across). I like to keep to the ‘troops’. They do it because communication as simple as possible they care and they want to hear so I often use email as a metaphor; if what people have got to say about you only had your subject box and where they work and what it feels five words to get people to act, what like to be there. They also know what would you write? That’s your key being a role model is and know that message. Strong communicators stay everything they do, or in fact don’t do,

1 Murray (2012). The language of leaders. Kogan Page: London, Philadelphia, New Delhi

can communicate something to the people they lead. Finally, leadership communication must be active and actionable. In the words of Kevin Murray1 “You have not communicated well if people have not heard you, have not understood you and do not feel motivated to think differently and act differently as a result of your words.”


Script: The art of preparation The capacity to create indelible messages is one of the things that make communication effective but these things rarely happen by chance. Exceptional communicators develop strong points of view on key issues. They understand the power of unintended signals and they keep getting feedback. They also plan. Aristotle called rhetoric the ability to identify the appropriate means of persuasion in a given situation and speeches are a great example of planful and powerful rhetoric. History shows that great speeches move people to action, provide great theatre and capture people’s imagination. Martin Luther King’s famed 1963 dream proclamation, John F. Kennedy ‘think not what you can do’ rhetoric and President

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Obama’s colourful inauguration speech are just a few of history’s most famous. In contrast, poor speeches are disheartening and often laced with spin. Common components of great speeches include language that ignites and inspires; compelling messages; passion and often a cry for moral and physical courage. They are well-timed and, last but not least, they are well-planned. But planning, or scripting, shouldn’t be confused with spin. Preparation and authenticity are not mutually exclusive yet the skill it takes to deliver prepared communication authentically shouldn’t be underestimated. Winston Churchill’s description of the effects of communism, ‘an iron curtain has descended’, is memorable and authentic, yet undoubtedly planned. Speech writing is a useful metaphor for planned employee communication, not because it’s feasible or desirable to start every team meeting with ‘I have a dream’, but because speeches show what good can come from preparation. Preparation allows you to consider not just what you want to say but what you want your audience to hear. Now, we know that levels of preparation will vary dependent on the scale of the communication delivery required and again, I’m not advocating penning out a team meeting word for word but merely pointing out that considering your communication in advance is beneficial and, done well, appreciated by employees. Furthermore, being prepared is not a challenge to your authenticity. We know that everything a leader says or does communicates, so the best leaders will be just as

skilled when they’re off script too. Language that ignites and inspires is the finishing point, the gloss of communication. Important, but nowhere near the start. Leaders have got to be able to link thought to emotion before they choose their words and it helps if any new ideas match people’s existing beliefs. For example, I’m more likely to be persuaded that communication is the most important skill a leader needs because I already value its importance and it’s the function in which I operate. It’s entirely logical, therefore, that the key to changing attitudes lies in understanding people, their values and preferences. Knowing what makes people tick, what turns them off, if you need to appeal to their emotions or logic in a given circumstance, is what sets the best communicators apart. Seb Coe’s final IOC presentation in Singapore, that sealed London’s victory to host the 2012 Games, is an excellent example of this. Coe had travelled the world tirelessly to understand each IOC’s particular needs, preferences and biases. His speech was directed at them and his individual and collective understanding of them separated London’s bid communication from the rest.


Spin: The political pitfall

Spin has negative connotations in today’s politically-savvy world. A word that crept, then sped into our consciousness with New Labour’s spin doctors, it’s almost as if we didn’t realise that spinning is not a new phenomenon but an age-old technique to persuade others. To be clear, I see rhetoric and spin differently. Using rhetoric


as a powerful mechanism to influence is the role of a leader. Spin is changing meaning to suit your own objectives, often downplaying or, worse still, ignoring important inconvenient facts for your own advantage. I think the key adjective here is ‘important’.  Let’s take a simple sentence as an example. “The doctor examined the child’s growth”. On reading this ambiguous quote, depending on your own bias or frame of reference, it will have thrown up a first meaning, perhaps followed by a different second meaning. Had I used some rhetorical skill leading up to the sentence, for example quoting incidents of cancer, I would have, perhaps, been able to influence your thought process. Had I wanted you to think of cancer when, in fact, the doctor was measuring height then I would have been changing meaning to suit my objectives – spinning. But what does this mean for leadership communication? Often, facts can be inconvenient and irrelevant so may not find their way into a piece of communication, but an important inconvenient fact that is deliberately avoided is dishonest and when uncovered, erodes trust, a critical component of employee engagement. I worked with an organisation recently who had communicated many months of consecutive growth in one region without communicating widely enough that collective revenue across regions was in decline. When inevitable business change was upon them, the once seemingly inconvenient fact (that overall revenue was in decline) provided the most compelling platform for change communication. Perceived


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spin, perhaps characterised by vague language or talking around a point rather than about it happens when leaders aren’t prepared. A reliance on clichéd phrases and management speak is a symptom of failure to prepare and can have a negative impact on employees and the way they feel about where they work. CONCLUSIONS

Achieving persuasion through communication is every leader’s role but they have to remember three key things:

2. S CRIPT Preparation for communication allows leaders to focus on what they want people to hear and do, not just what they want to say

1. SKILL Skilled communicators are as good in informal conversations as they are in formal communication forums. They know that you can’t persuade people if you don’t understand them

3. SPIN Ignoring or downplaying important inconvenient facts erodes trust. Without skill and planning, leaders can fall into the ‘spin trap’

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05’00”000 with

Alan Murchison

by Fiona McPhee


lan Murchison is the Executive Chef of Michelin star restaurant L’ortolan in Reading as well as Managing Director of 10 in 8, the fine dining group. The concept of 10 in 8 is to build a collection of fine dining restaurants over an eight year period earning at least one Michelin star within their first three years of opening, which is no easy feat. 10 in 8 is not only about award winning restaurants but also about developing and harnessing raw talent in them. Each of the restaurants in the collection “strives to exceed everyone’s expectations leaving you wanting to return time and time again”.

What inspired you to become a chef? At school if you were seen as challenging or non-academic they’d put you in the building or hospitality trade because both were deemed to be low skill, low intelligence jobs. There was very little recognition that different people need different approaches in order to learn so I was put in this category. I ended up getting a job washing pots in a kitchen and I enjoyed it. There was great camaraderie, a real team mentality. If the kitchen porter didn’t turn up then it would affect the whole business. It was like a chain. If one part of the chain was missing then the whole thing would fall apart and

I think that was what got me. I also saw the opportunity for progression. The head chef had started off at the very bottom; he had been the kitchen porter and worked his way up. It’s a tough path from kitchen porter to head chef, what motivated you to keep going? There were clear lines of progression and I could see where the ladder was going to go. So many businesses don’t offer that, people don’t know how to get to the next step or even what the next step might be. I think in the kitchen there’s a clearly defined career path. When you’ve mastered one step you can move on to the next, but not before.


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You also know how your role, whatever it is, contributes to the end product. If you don’t wash the pans quickly enough the meat can’t be cooked. If meat isn’t cooked, desserts can’t be served. You always feel, even when washing up, part of the process and because you are involved in the product you feel committed. How do you support the development of your people? I try and understand their motivation and where they want to go. If they want to use this as a stepping stone I will try and give them as much experience as I can to enable them to move on. I recognise when it’s time for people to leave, allowing them to do so with my blessing and leaving the door open if they want to come back. I think so often people hold on to people for all the wrong reasons. They throw an extra 20% salary at them a year but it’s just a short term fix. I also try to get my team really involved with the product from the beginning so they see how their part affects the whole operation. For example, a new kitchen porter will eat in the restaurant, so they understand how important it is that the plates, glasses and cutlery are polished because this creates the first impression. How would you describe your leadership style? I would say its adaptive, different people need and want different things from me whether it’s as the Executive Chef or Managing Director. I try to create an environment where my team feel

empowered. That said, the hardest thing for me as we grow is losing control. I set up on my own to give myself that full control and now it’s like going back to the beginning where things are out of my hands at times. Even though you’ve selected those people, you’ve allowed them to make decisions and you trust them it’s still the hardest thing but it’s so important. We know what it’s like to be empowered and then have that power taken away from us. It’s probably one of the most frustrating and demotivating things that can happen. I won’t tolerate that but I still have to remind myself of it as well.

How do you make sure you hold on to your Michelin Star? Consistency, that’s what it’s about, consistency. People have a choice if they come; we’re a luxury item so we’ve got to be consistently brilliant. We try to evolve the product but keep the consistency. That’s the most difficult thing because people want to see new stuff but they also want to see things they recognise and like. You have to think about the end user and recognise you are cooking for your guests and not yourself. It’s all about them, not a vanity project. I

know we’re getting it right because the restaurant is full. How did you come up with the idea of 10 in 8? It was recognising what the guys wanted in our business, what motivated them. They wanted recognition by their peers, recognition in the industry; they all wanted to be developed and to learn. Michelin stars were hugely motivational to them, and that’s where it started. The main catalyst came from me recognising that Will Holland (Head Chef at Michelin star restaurant La Becasse) needed to develop or he would take the time and effort I put into him and give it to someone else. That’s where restaurant number two came from. I actually went back to Le Manoir to speak with Raymond Blanc who trained me and asked what he would have done differently. He said he would have kept some of the guys he trained close to him. Create these bonds back to the business so people would return if the opportunities were right. This is what I’m looking to do with 10 in 8. It’s a matter of recognising when it’s right to bring them back. What’s nice is that Will has been shortlisted for restaurant of the year with La Becasse (Alan’s second restaurant) in the food and travel magazine. In the article there’s a reference to me as I trained him. There is also an article about the best ten chefs who worked for Raymond Blanc and I’m listed, so you have my link to Raymond Blanc and Will’s link to me. There’s a legacy being developed but most importantly you can’t buy loyalty like that.

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How to thrive in the emotion epidemic ARTICLE BY Chris



s a result of the Home Games, the Summer of 2012 has seen an unprecedented amount of positivity and good cheer, particularly in the capital. This is in sharp contrast to the anger and unrest prevalent during the riots of 2011. However, both examples illustrate the ways in which moods and emotions, both good and bad, can be infectious and spread from one person to another. In this article I look at the psychology behind this emotional contagion. Psychological practice has undergone many transitions

and reincarnations. In the 1960s behaviourism gave way to the ‘cognitive revolution’ and paved the way for several decades of consultancy underpinned by the principles of rationality and appraisal. However, more recently, there has been a dramatic rise in interest in the role that emotions play in high-performance domains. This is a rather ironic turn of events due to a traditional view of emotions as an irrational inconvenience to be eliminated from decision-making processes. Yet, such perspectives are being pushed aside as researchers, practitioners, and managers

1 Barsade, S. G. (2002). The ripple effect: Emotional contagion and its influence on group behavior. Administrative Science Quarterly, 47, 644-675. 2 Hatfield, E., Cacioppo, J. T., & Rapson, R. L. (1993). Emotional contagion. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2, 96-99. 3W  agstaff, C. R. D., Fletcher, D., & Hanton, S. (2012). Positive organizational psychology in sport: An ethnography of organizational functioning in a National Sport Organization, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 24, 26-47.Hatfield, E., Cacioppo, J. T., & Rapson, R. L. (1993). Emotional contagion. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2, 96-99.


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increasingly extol the value of emotions for individual, team, and organisational success. Indeed, so marked has been the interest in emotion that psychologists have suggested that we are in the midst of an ‘affective revolution’. One consequence of this revolution is an emotion epidemic that is sweeping elite performance environments. An epidemic refers to something put upon or above people, and in our modern lexicon typically occurs when cases of a certain disease substantially exceed what is expected based on recent experience. Epidemics can be restricted to one domain (i.e. spreading within), and can also spread externally to other individuals and domains to affect a substantial number of people (i.e. spreading outside). Where this occurs at a global level, this contagion may be termed a pandemic. Emotions are intense, relatively short-term affective reactions to a stimulus in our environment. Whether our emotions are anticipated, felt ‘in the heat of the moment’, or recalled at a later time, they influence our daily thoughts, motivations, and behaviours. For example, they range from the chitchat between team members about a performance review, to the thoughts written on your manager’s face in response to the latest strategic change. These rather mundane examples illustrate the ever-present nature of emotions in our everyday experience. Yet, beyond their ubiquity, emotions set the tone of our most crucial relationships. That is, they aren’t just influential on our behaviour; they are infectious

and can be ‘caught’ by others around us. Moreover, it is likely that many of our top performers are unaware of how a single emotion or mood can influence their actions, particularly if this originated from others and not their own feelings. While the notion of ‘catching’ emotions is not new, the importance of this for performance outcomes is poorly understood. My work as a researcher and performance psychologist has illustrated firsthand the contagious nature of emotions and the consequences of these infectious affections for group conflict, cooperation, decisionmaking and individual, relational, and organisational functioning. But what can you do to thrive in the emotion epidemic? Below I outline four key questions to assist you in this endeavour.

to and during ‘big-game’ situations. Attempt to decipher the meaning of your feelings, where they have originated from and assess how they influence your thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. If you can become aware of how others infect you with emotions, you might choose to catch or avoid them prior to or during high-pressure situations. This might afford you a greater sense of control over the infectious individuals around you.

2. Are you at risk of infecting others? Be consciously aware of your own mood and emotions. If your current emotion does not suit the situation, change it. As the most toxic emotions arrive in short intense spikes, consider how you can act 1. Are you at risk your way out of difficult situations of infection? by changing your facial expression, Simply being aware of the body language, and vocal tone. emotion epidemic can help with Interestingly, research suggests that self-inoculation; however, some when we change these expressions individuals may be more at risk. of emotion, our actual feelings tend Whilst the transmission of emotion to follow suit. Monitor how your behaviour can occur in any relationship, it is in both mundane and important common for leaders to infect their followers. Whatever role you fulfil, situations is received by those it is important to deploy attention to around you. In my work with the emotions you experience prior Olympic and Paralympic athletes

4 Wagstaff, C. R. D., Fletcher, D., & Hanton, S. (2012, in press). Exploring emotion abilities and regulation strategies in sport organizations, Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology,. doi: 10.1037/a0028814 5 Wagstaff, C. R. D., Fletcher, D., & Hanton, S. (2012). Positive organizational psychology in sport: An ethnography of organizational functioning in a National Sport Organization, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 24, 26-47.

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and coaches, business leaders, and senior military officers, I am often shocked by the lack of awareness and occasional delusion – regarding their view of how others perceive their behaviour. Indeed, in my experience, the higher individuals climb up the success ladder in their field, the more important emotional expression and behaviour becomes. Thus, irrespective of position, you should stimulate reflection by seeking immediate feedback regarding how any communication is received. Consider how your behaviour reflects your mood and whether the message you are sending corresponds with that received by the target audience.

and my colleagues suggests that anger is the most prevalent emotion experienced in elite sport organisations. However, expressing anger is often the easiest way to ‘cross the line’ and infect others. Thus, clear expectations must be communicated and monitored by the entire team to regulate the emotional contagion that exists within the organisation’s culture.

3. A  re there any vaccinations available? In every high performance environment, there are norms, values and expectations regarding the expression of emotion. These are often unwritten rules that guide our behaviour and constitute a ‘line’ that must not be crossed. In the sporting world athlete charters have become common for reflecting such expectations regarding behaviour. Yet, what about the emotional expectations? Research conducted by myself

4. CAN YOU MANAGE THE EPIDEMIC IN YOUR TEAM? In addition to passively infecting others with emotion, you might strategically attempt to change the emotions of those around you. To

5 Fletcher, D., Hanton, S. & Wagstaff, C. R. D. (2012). Performers’ responses to stressors encountered in sport organisations, Journal of Sports Sciences, 30, 349-358


see how this might work, you might manufacture a simple experiment to test how effective your own vaccination is in your organisation. You might begin this by exposing yourself to the symptoms of the emotion epidemic in your team or organisation. Find the most cynical, sceptical and pessimistic individual you can. Engage them in a casual conversation about what they perceive to be the flaws of the current regime or a recent change. Take a mental note of their expressions of emotion and behaviour throughout. Do not intervene or pass judgment, but encourage them by actively listening. To compare, find the most optimistic and enthusiastic individual in the organisation and converse with them about everything that they see as successful under the current regime or related to a recent change. Compare how you feel after just a short conversation with these key members of your own team. This may give you an idea of where to start by identifying what emotional expressions require antibodies. I am willing to bet that most of you reading this article have been thinking of examples of undesirable situations where you have caught others’ negative emotions. However, reread this article through a positive perspective. Consider each point in terms of how you might infect others with positive emotion in your team or organisation. In doing so, I hope that your mind will be racing with opportunities to engage the epidemic to facilitate a positive emotional climate rather than allow destructive emotions to run amok.


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Derailment: An alternate lens for understanding leadership talent ARTICLE BY Suzanne


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eviews of talent matrices and succession charts can often show a disappointing amount of talent that hasn’t lived up to its potential; ‘potential’ typically being about demonstrating the ability to fulfil key leadership roles. In the absence of any real understanding of why talent derails we tend to conclude that perhaps the individual wasn’t talented in the first place – that we somehow got it wrong. There is a cost involved in getting it wrong including talent disengaging, a corresponding impact on team morale, lost opportunity costs from under performance and recruitment costs if the individual leaves the business. Understanding why leadership talent stalls or derails adds a valuable dimension to developing, engaging and retaining talent.

derails often overplays or over relies on certain competencies which have served them well in the past, whilst failing to develop others. In particular, they tend to over rely on specialist or technical competencies and a corresponding attention to detail. When under pressure this can lead to an inability to see the big picture, failure to deal with ambiguity and micromanaging. Similarly successful leaders have well developed emotional intelligence whereas derailed talent often fails to demonstrate the breadth of emotional intelligence competencies needed to succeed in more senior roles.3 Successful leaders have the capacity to continually learn and grow in the context of the environment;4 talent that derails tends to be less able to learn and adapt. Understanding this dual nature of some of the attributes of talent can help organisations to prioritise talent development, encouraging a focus on those attributes that, when developed, help generate success and if left undeveloped can lead to derailment. What is derailment? Whilst some derailment A derailed leader is one that plateaus characteristics are the ‘flip side’ at a lower level than expected, stalls, of successful talent, others is demoted and may, as a result, open up alternate avenues for leave the organisation voluntarily developing and engaging talent or involuntarily1. In the same way either at the individual level or there are many definitions of talent, through wider talent development there are many reasons talent strategies. Personality traits and may fail to live up to its potential. psychodynamics rarely form part of Some of these are the ‘flip side’ of talent management definitions, yet the talent coin. For example, most aspects of each can cause derailment, definitions of talent encompass for example, narcissistic tendencies competencies; talented leaders are and dependency needs of leaders identified as those who role model and transference in followers.5 It is the competencies and demonstrate difficult for definitions of talent superior performance2. Talent that to account for every combination


of what success might look like. There will always be talent that doesn’t ‘conform’ to organisational definitions, yet goes on to achieve success. In the same way, some aspects of derailment may be attributable to an individual’s own personal profile and circumstances. These aspects of derailment need to be managed on that 1:1 level. Key themes in derailment however open up opportunities for broader initiatives.

Why do leaders derail? Research on derailment has established a number of core themes, including the inability to develop or adapt and too narrow a functional orientation.6 We can link this to the development of the leadership pipeline and management of key leadership transitions.7 In many organisations talented high performing experts eventually hit a ceiling beyond which career progression is about taking on management responsibility. There are a number of key challenges here: Firstly, the ‘halo’ effect of the individual’s previous technical, functional or specialist talents can initially blindside an organisation to difficulties the individual may have in undertaking new management responsibilities. Secondly, individuals may not fully appreciate the mind shift needed to transition from high performing expert where progression is dependant on your

1. Zhang, Yi., & Chandrasekar, N.A., (2011) ‘When building strength is not enough: An exploration of derailment potential and leadership strength”, Journal of General Management, Vol. 36 No. 3 Spring 2011, The Braybrooke Press Ltd 2. Berger, L. A., and Berger, D. R. (2004), ‘The Talent Management Handbook’, McGraw-Hill, New York 3. Goleman, D. (1996) ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ’, Bloomsbury, London. 4. Lombardo, M. M. & Eichinger, R.W. (Winter 2000) Human Resource Management, vol. 39, No. 4, Pp321-329 5. Kets de Vries, M.F.R (1989) ‘Leaders Who Self-Destruct: The Causes and Cures’, Organisational Dynamics 6. Zhang, Yi., & Chandrasekar, N.A., (2011) ‘When building strength is not enough: An exploration of derailment potential and leadership strength”, Journal of General Management, Vol. 36 No. 3 Spring 2011, The Braybrooke Press Ltd 7. Charan, R., Drotter, S., & Noel, J., (2011) ‘The Leadership Pipeline: How to build the leadership powered company”, San Francisco. John Wiley & Sons


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own knowledge, skills, capability and results to the more generalist nature of management and the need to achieve results through others. The balance shifts; it becomes less about individual excellence and more about achievement through team effort. This can be one of the most difficult yet fundamental transitions an emerging leader needs to make. Without support from the organisation, moving away from functional expertise which has been crucial to career success to date is hard. Embracing the unknown arena of people management can be a leap of faith. Individuals at this stage often keep one foot in each camp – retaining a ‘hands on’ approach to managing tasks, projects and activities whilst building people management capability. In times of stress or challenge they gravitate back to functional expert mode and micromanaging. In managing the career paths of specialist and leadership talent organisations need to ask two key questions: Firstly, how are we developing the careers of our specialist, expert talent? Secondly, how are we recognising and rewarding those individuals who may not be the best technically, but are demonstrating early management and strategic leadership capability? The consequences of not getting this piece right are that we lose our expert talent and gain mediocre, often reluctant managers or we dismiss the less gifted experts without recognising their potential leadership capability. It’s important to review the career paths you have in place for both specialists and leaders in order to answer these

questions. Do all talented experts need to move into leadership roles in order to progress? Could you, for example, develop technical/expert consultancy roles? By recognising some derailers as the converse of characteristics of talented leaders, it helps organisations to prioritise; to focus on developing those aspects of leadership that have a correlation to both success and derailment. Where derailment factors provide an additional rather than converse dimension to talent, it helps organisations to determine what needs to be addressed at the individual level and what is symptomatic of current talent management practices.

Getting talent back on track Whilst it’s important to understand why talent derails, how do you identify when someone is derailing and what can we do to get them back on track? Talent is at its most vulnerable during key transitions: expert to manager; manager to leader; leader to senior leader. During these key transitions there is likely to be a dip in performance as the individual assimilates into the requirements of the new role, gains an understanding of the environment and ‘finds their feet’. Successful talent will quickly acclimatise and recover levels of performance. Those in

danger of derailing, will take longer to, or may not, recover their performance levels. They may also begin to demonstrate specific behaviours such as isolating themselves as they lose confidence in their ability, appearing out of touch. They may be too quick to make decisions or won’t make any decisions at all failing to learn new skills and adapt. Agreeing a clear performance plan, with specific objectives, key deliverables and support and development needs is vital for those first few months in a new role, but equally as beneficial for any talented individual whom you feel is not delivering to their full potential.

The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

JONATHAN ZNEIMER Consultant Director, Lane4


Jon joined Lane4 10 years ago and is now a Partner, managing consultant and senior consultant teams. Jon has a heritage in sport psychology and worked with the GB Hockey squad in preparation for 2012. His consulting work is with senior leaders and teams across a range of sectors with a focus on leadership development and managing organisational change.

Coaching Supervision Jonathan Zneimer talks to us about the importance of coaching supervision and what he feels it brings to coaching practice. I believe that becoming an accredited coach is only ever the beginning of a journey. Just like when you pass your driving test, you only really learn what to do when you go out on your own. This is why, in my opinion, coaching supervision is so important for coaching practice. There are 3 key aspects to coaching supervision: support, development and evaluation1. Support A supervisor helps you to deal with any difficulties that arise during practice. Sometimes coaching can become ‘stuck’ as we struggle to adapt our approach. Supervision can help us to unblock blind spots and remove any filters that may be affecting how we coach. The supervisor also provides space to reflect on coaching relationships and ensure we are not being drawn into our coachee’s world too much.

Development Supervision helps us to be better coaches. Perhaps we can start by thinking about the coachee. Describe your most difficult coachee. What is it about their behaviour, their attitude and their style that makes them so hard to coach? Unpick that some more – what could you do in each of those situations to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone and really help this person? The supervisor supports us to become more effective reflective practitioners, develops our ability to self-supervise and suggests different theories and approaches that could be incorporated to improve our coaching practice. Evaluation Supervision provides the quality check needed to ensure that our coachees are getting the service they deserve.

It is about supporting us to remain honest and courageous, attending to those things we could easily ignore and picking up on what is going unsaid. A supervisor also plays a role in supporting us to uphold the highest standards when it comes to ethical practice. This includes knowing when we have reached the boundaries of our expertise and need to refer a coachee to a different type of practitioner. The aim of coaching supervision is to increase your capacity to coach – both in quantity and quality. Supervision allows coaches to reflect and re-examine their own practice, to continue to develop their skills and selfawareness and to avoid being drawn into their clients’ worlds. Checking in with a coaching supervisor is like getting an MOT for your car – you could leave it, and your car could run perfectly fine, but wouldn’t you want the engine to purr?

1 Adapted from Proctor, B. 1986. Supervision: a co‑operative exercise in accountability. In: Enabling and ensuring. M. Marken and M. Payne (eds). Leicester National Youth Bureau and Council for Education and Training in Youth and Community Work, Leicester. p.21‑23.


The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

All Change – Learning from transitions in sport ARTICLE BY Janine

Usher & Rick Cotgreave

As the most spectacular summer of sport Britain has ever seen comes to an end, we are seeing a great number of top athletes announcing their retirement. Victoria Pendleton, Michael Phelps and Beth Tweddle are all embarking on a new lifestyle after years of sacrifice and dedication to their sport but what happens when the good and great hang up their boots? Some will have plans in place for this new life but many others are heading into the unknown. Whilst the term ‘retirement’ is used in sport, similar transitions frequently take place in business. What are the links between the two and what can we learn from our sporting heroes? Whether it is through choice or circumstance we are likely to change jobs, or even careers, several times in our lives. Risk of redundancy, limited internal promotions or simply the desire for a new challenge can all drive change. It is therefore inevitable that we will find ourselves ‘in transition’ at some point or another. The challenge of transitions When the time comes for an athlete 1 Cotgreave (2011) The Phoenix Project

to retire, they are leaving behind a world where fans and team-mates have looked up to them, expecting brilliance at every move. They are likely to have faced constant pressure, working for clear goals, having wellmanaged programmes to measure their performance and ensure they peak in time for the next Olympic final. Then maybe they reach the pinnacle of their career and the gold becomes theirs. Or maybe through injury, age, or simply because someone else comes along who’s just that little bit better, it’s time for them to call it a day and walk away from the thing that has fuelled their passion, giving them a sense of identity and something to belong to. Suddenly the athlete is retired; a former-athlete, an ex-Olympian and all at an age where there’s a whole lot of life still in front of them. Perhaps it’s a difficult situation to imagine, but it’s a process that goes on at the end of every season and after every major championships or Olympic Games. It’s also a process that will almost certainly take place for all of us at some point in our business careers, in particular when people

make that difficult first step from ‘technical expert’ to leader. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that this process of transition in athletes causes great stress and pressure to some sportsmen and women1 and that the associated depression has even been a contributing factor in a number of suicides. We are not suggesting that this is the case in the business world; however, it does highlight how traumatic and distressing change can be for some people. The process of transition Initial research has indicated that there are distinct phases that an athlete goes through when making a transition beyond sport1. The Transition Model (shown in figure 1.) helps us to understand the stages of the transition process. Translate – the process of understanding the new world beyond previous roles. In this phase the individual is coming to terms with the transition decision. This phase is associated with fear, depression and isolation as they come to

The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012



>TRANSCEND - Moving forward - Move beyond identification as ‘athlete’ / historical definition of self - Integrate strength / values into new role - Self-actualisation

>TRANSFORM - Develop old skills and apply them to new situation - Build self-belief / recognise existing strengths - Establish goals - Redefine success / recognise world beyond sport

>TRANSLATE - Understanding of situation - Understanding of skill / values - Understand emotion – relief / depression / loss

understand the passing of time and the implications of change. It is during this phase that people are at their most vulnerable. Support may be required to help make sense of the world that, in many ways, they have been protected from by their deep immersion in their previous careers. It is here where the individual begins to take stock and evaluate their situation. They are encouraged to assess their own needs and existing skills. Transform – the process and acceptance of change; the coming together of the old world and the beginning of something new. In this phase the individual is able to begin to rebuild their self-belief. New goals may be set and a new future can be mapped out. It is here that success can be redefined. Success may not be as clear and objective as in the previous world, but goals are still aspirational and provide a challenge. As an athlete makes their transformation it can become clear how big a part of their life sport has been and what needs were being met by their involvement. Perhaps

From sport to business Transitions are inevitable in both sport and business. If left unsupported, these transitions can derail individuals, or worse, have a negative impact on their wellbeing. In business we need to look in greater depth at the case for supporting employees going through transition and in the meantime, we offer these tips: • Translate –Support individuals Transcend – the process of going to understand their new situation beyond success in the previous role and the opportunities that go with and realising new ambitions in a new it. Help them to really understand world. In this phase the individual their skills and attributes and how is truly moving forward and leaving they fit with the new world. behind the former definition of •  Transform – Try to understand themselves. An identity is forged the impact a previous role had on that allows the individual to find contentment and personal excellence self-belief; what needs were being in a new and changing world. Support met by the role, colleagues and the organisation. Support individuals to in this phase may help develop a find their new definition of success stronger future-focus and maintain and work out how their existing the momentum that has been built skills and attributes can help them through the transition process. For get there. the athletes support may also help provide greater clarity in a new world • Transcend – Support individuals where goals are less clear than in the to embrace the new situation and black and white world of success and celebrate their new successes as failure in sport. much as their previous ones. sport provided a vehicle for selfexpression or a sense of belonging. When the sport is taken away these needs may no longer be met and this can be the source of a great deal of anxiety and turmoil caused by the retirement. Support at this phase can be provided by highlighting goals and opportunities that may help in fulfilling many of the gaps created by the loss of their previous career.


The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

A Mindful Approach to Performance Enhancement ARTICLE BY Richard


Briegel-Jones & Penny Mavor

in sport psychology have indicated the positive performance effects of mindfulness training interventions.2 This research has linked mindfulness to present-moment focus – the foundation of peak performance in sport. The ability to focus on a specific task while ignoring distractions from the past, future and other current events enables an individual to completely immerse themselves in their performance which can ultimately lead to performance improvements. The Link between Other benefits of mindfulness Mindfulness and training include having clearer Performance goals, a greater sense of control, Mindfulness practice is founded on enhanced concentration and a the basis that one’s thoughts, feelings loss of self-consciousness.3 and sensory experiences should be Mindfulness in leadership considered as naturally occurring events. These events regularly come Not surprisingly, due to the growing and go as normal, expected features interest in how individuals focus of human existence and therefore their attention in organisations and should not be controlled for. In this the subsequent effects, mindfulness manner, mindfulness is contrary is also proving of relevance to the What is Mindfulness? to traditional mental techniques workplace.4 Given that mindfulness With its roots in both Eastern that aim to control, eliminate or brings clarity, vividness and options philosophical traditions and Western suppress negative thoughts and to how we view and respond to the psychology, mindfulness refers to a images. A growing body of studies world, cultivating it provides leaders ompanies such as Raytheon, Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, Nortel Networks and Comcast1 have started to integrate mindfulness into the workplace, highlighting the growing mainstream interest in this fascinating practice. While traditionally used in clinical domains, mindfulness is increasingly being applied in sport and business leadership to enhance well-being and performance. For athletes, it brings improved performance and for leaders it enhances their effectiveness in decision making, relationship management, work life balance and sustainable leadership. This article draws from current literature to explore mindfulness and how this innate quality within all of us can be cultivated to improve our present-moment focus and ultimately enhance performance in sport and business leadership.

way of being – non-judgementally (i.e. not good, not bad) paying attention to and being aware of present events and conscious experiences. It is a philosophy and a practice that can be developed through simple exercises that actively encourage non-judgemental attention and awareness of internal (such as bodily sensations, thoughts and emotions) and external (such as sights and sounds) experiences in the present moment.

1 Carroll, M. (2011). The Mindful Leader: Awakening Your Natural Management Skills Through Mindfulness. Trumpter: Boston & London 2 Bernier, M., Thienot, E., Codron, R., & Fournier, J.F. (2009). Mindfulness and Acceptance approaches in sport performance. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 4, 320-333. 3 Aherne, C., Moran, A.P., & Lonsdale, C. (2011). The effect of mindfulness training on athletes’ flow: An initial investigation. The Sport Psychologist, 25, 177-189. 4 Weick, K.E, Sutcliffe, K.M and Obstfeld, D. (1999). “Organizing for High Reliability: Processes ofCollective Mindfulness” in R.S. Sutton and B.M. Staw (eds), Research in Organizational Behavior, Vol. 1(Stanford: Jai Press, 1999), pp: 81–123

The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012



The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

3. T  urning up and being present: breath into the present, notice your posture, your ‘being ness’ and turn up fully giving all • By allowing us to be fully present, There are a number of ways in your attention, without distraction it improves our ability to break which we have worked with or judgement, to the person or task from unhelpful habitual patterns leaders to develop their mindfulness. before you. The ‘body scan’ exercise and the way we have always Whilst meditation has traditionally is useful for practicing being done things been recognised as the key route present. After a number of deep to mindfulness, it can also be • As it improves the quantity breaths, direct your attention to nurtured through informal day-toand quality of our awareness different parts of your body for one day practice. Here is a selection of and attention, it opens us up to or two minutes each (you can start offerings to help you on the way: new information at the toes and work your way up). Whilst remaining aware of your • It weakens our tendency to 1. Breathing: to help you be breathing, notice any sensations over-simplify and encourages ‘in the moment’, draw your attention you have in the different body parts us to explore issues from to the thing that is always with non-judgementally. multiple perspectives, providing you – your breath. Feel the air us with flexibility and choice come in and out of your nostrils, 4. A  dopt a ‘beginners mind’: noticing the rising and falling of • This heightened awareness helps this is the ability to see a situation your belly. One mindfulness us to consciously choose our freshly, as if for the first time. exercise you can do is the ‘take ten behaviours and make decisions, Ask yourself – am I seeing this breaths’ technique. Throughout appropriate to the context person/these things with fresh your day, try and take 10 slow, deep eyes, as he, she or it really is – or In particular, it has been suggested breaths, noticing the physical am I only seeing the reflection of there are four key areas where sensations, thoughts and feelings my own thoughts, memories of this mindfulness could be beneficial in passing through your body and person/thing? (We acknowledge enhancing leadership effectiveness:5 mind. Remember to just observe this is not always an easy task!) (not judge, avoid, hold onto or • Decision making: how mindfulness suppress) and notice what it’s like to 5. S tart a ‘mindfulness’ enhances one’s ability to make do this with an attitude journal: the practice of mindfully decisions which are ethically of acceptance. viewing events and situations of the aligned day in retrospect enhances our ability • Relationship management: 2. Noticing: generally our minds to mindfully experience events and how mindfulness brings greater flick from the past to the future, situations empathy and compassion, and is we ruminate, speculate, judge and at the time they occur. beneficial in interpersonal evaluate. Start noticing how your relations, conflict and crisis mind flicks and when it ‘runs Mindfulness cannot be theorised management away with you’ and gently bring but has to be experienced to be yourself to the present. One simple understood and as with any • Work-life balance: how mindfulness mindfulness technique you can use technique or tool, it is about the increases ones’ ability to cope with is the ‘notice five things’ exercise. individual ‘trying’ it out and finding stress and enhance wellbeing Look around your environment what works for them. Think of • Sustainable leadership: and notice five things you can see. yourself as a ‘work in progress’, how, through enhancing our adopting a mindset open to personal Now listen carefully and notice interconnectedness with others and five things you can hear. Now notice change and acceptance and you too nature, mindfulness plays a critical five things you can feel (e.g. your feet can start to experience the numerous role in developing and nurturing on the floor). You can do this for all benefits associated with this sustainable approaches to business your senses. ancient practice. with ways of ‘doing and being’ that are potentially more effective. For example:

Developing Mindfulness – A practitioner’s perspective

5 Jagannathan, S. and Rodhain,F. (2008) What is mindful leadership? Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership, Pondicherry, India, 9-12 February: 1-15

The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012


Winning Leadership: High performance in sport and business Rachel Arnold, David Fletcher, Lindsay Molyneux, and Melanie Wallinger ARTICLE BY

individuals understanding themselves in order to be good leaders: “It’s very difficult to be coherent and act with integrity and certainty if you don’t have a good idea from what foundation you’re making those actions.” Fig. 1 The Lane4 Leadership Framework

te xt

Create Meaning ‘One Team’

t ex nt Co

critical to leading others.2 Our identity is influenced by our values, experiences and selfperceptions.3 In reality, we do not only have one identity but rather several sub-identities that co-exist; a man in his 40s may be a father, business leader, friend and musician. Some of these identities are more fixed that others, such as gender, and some are more changeable, such as our chosen profession. Different subidentities become more important in different situations, shaping the way we behave. For example, many leaders are also followers. When their ‘leader’ identity is salient, they may display more typical leadership characteristics such as confidence. However, when the ‘follower’ identity is more salient, they may display different characteristics such as agreeableness. Of course, this is a simplified example but the point is Knowing Yourself: Working that understanding the multiple roles with your Identity that inform our identity can help us Working with your identity sits at to understand, and where appropriate the heart of the Lane4 leadership modify, our behaviour. Jason Lee, framework, since the ability to coach of the men’s GB Hockey understand and manage yourself is team, advocates the importance of

Co n


elcome to the 21st century – a period that necessitates leaders who not only deliver results but who do so in the face of globalisation, evolving technology and social media, tension between short-term and long-term organisational goals and changing employee demands. This is true for leaders in all performance domains, not just business. In fact, we need look no further than the recent Team GB success at London 2012 to see the influential role that good leadership plays in sport. In this article we bring the Lane4 Leadership Framework (see Figure 1) to life using recent examples from the Home Games and interviews conducted with National Performance Directors (NPDs) who operate in the Olympic sport context.1


‘Knowing yourself’


‘Make the differenCE’


© Lane4

A leader who is aware of the personal journey that they have taken and knows who they are as a person, will have a good understanding of their

1 NPDs typically lead and manage all aspects of a sport organisation’s high performance programme. In leading and managing this program, an NPD’s main roles include: developing targets and visions; managing structures, operations, and people; creating an environment to support elite athletes; co-ordinating disciplines; leading a team culture; and making decisions. 2 Hanges, P., Lord, R. & Dickson, M. (2000). An Information-processing perspective on leadership and culture: A case for connectionist architecture. Applied Psychology, 49(1), 133 – 161. 3 Brewer, M. B. (2003). The social self: On being the same and different at the same time. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 17, 475-482.


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strengths and how to play to them, as well as their development areas and how to compensate for them.

of a leader creating meaning by fostering a sense of collective identity and helping individuals to make sense of the world that they are operating One Team: Creating Meaning in and how their roles fit into the Sir Clive Woodward, British overall vision. As this example Olympic Association Director highlights, creating meaning involves of Sport, had a visionary role at developing a shared identity, creating London 2012 to unite “One Team and sharing a compelling vision and GB” under a shared set of values. doing so authentically. This last point These provided particularly helpful is particularly important as it is this guidelines, as for many individuals authenticity which builds follower this was the first time that they trust and commitment5 and helps a had encountered such a large-scale leader to maintain their influence6. event. Sir Clive Woodward adopted Evidence of authenticity may an inclusive approach, getting all include leaders revealing their relevant individuals involved in both vulnerabilities , expressing their true producing and agreeing to abide beliefs and feelings8, and behaving by a number of principles. These consistently across situations. A standards fell under the five core senior leader at UK Sport illustrates values of Performance, Respect, this point: Unity, Responsibility and Pride. “Increasingly where people seek The creation of shared values and need leadership, they’re looking is one way a leader can create for leaders to be believable, people meaning; they can also create they can really identify with and I’m meaning by forming an ultimate pleased to say across the spectrum of aspiration for the team. When the London Games we saw incredibly developing a vision, leaders should authentic leadership.” seek collective input into its design, Promote Performance: ensure that it is appropriately Deliver Results focused and flexible for adaptation, and stimulate shared ownership, For many leaders, high performance as the following quote from one means delivering results. For the best NPD illustrates: leaders this means delivering through their people which can be achieved “The vision for the organisation needs to be clear, and specific to what in two ways: you want to achieve, where you want • Delivering results for people can to go… it’s got to be stretching though be achieved by treating the whole at the same time remain realistic and team fairly, encouraging learning achievable… and, I think, ultimately within their organisation, and targets and goals need to be owned driving the interest of the group as by everyone who is working towards a whole9. that vision… that way, people will buy • Delivering results with people can into what you are trying to do.”4 be achieved through consulting and empowering individuals10. ‘One Team GB’ provides an example

Part of empowering others is about giving them the autonomy and the space to do their jobs well. This was exemplified by many Performance Directors and Head Coaches at London 2012. For example, Dave Brailsford (Performance Director of British Cycling) could be seen taking a back seat in the side-car during the cycling races, allowing the coaches to take to the front and do the job that they needed to do. Delivering results with people also requires a leader to adapt their style to individuals and situations. Some NPDs clearly support the benefits of leaders being flexible in their approach, adapting their style and seeking input from others, as demonstrated in the following quote: “I think it’s important that you show some flexibility (in work in elite sport)… I have not written the Bible in (name of sport), I don’t think anyone has, so continuous development is so important… it’s nice to develop and try to find new ways of doing things, so don’t be afraid of making mistakes. You learn from your mistakes and then you address them … I learnt very

4 Fletcher, D. & Arnold, R. (2011). A qualitative study of performance leadership and management in elite sport. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 23, 223-242. 5 Avolio, B.J., Walumbwa, F.O. & Weber, T.J. (2009). Leadership: Current theories, research, and future directions. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 421 – 449. 6 Haslam, S.A., Reicher, S.D. & Platow, M.J. (2011). The new psychology of leadership: identity, influence and power. Hove: Psychology Press. 7K  ark, R., & Shamir, B. (2002). The dual effect of transformational leadership: Priming relational and collective selves and further effects on followers. In B. J. Avolio & F. J. Yammarino (Eds.), Transformational and charismatic leadership: The road ahead (pp. 67-91). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Science. 8 Ladkin, D., & Taylor, S. S. (2010). Enacting the ‘true self’: Towards a theory of embodied authentic leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 21, 64-74.

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quickly in my role after making initial mistakes on this that you cannot make improvements alone; it has to be as a team. The team members need to respect and listen to each other. I know that I can learn a lot from them (the rest of the team). To do this (work as a team), I need to walk the shop floor and know the reality of the sport on the ground, see what’s actually happening on a daily basis with the athletes, coaches and support staff .”11 And finally, the leader needs to show they are serious about and committed to performance excellence, as the following quote from one NPD illustrates: “Your commitment to excellence and your passion, actually, are probably pretty crucial. If people don’t think that the guy at the top really believes that you can and is not realistic and focussed on what’s important, then you’ll lose the support from below.”11 Make the Difference: drive change The performance environment is not a static entity, it is changing all

the time and new developments are constantly occurring. Eighteen months ago, UK Sport announced the launch of a system using biosensors to transmit movement from athletes back to the coaches in real time, a technological advancement that wouldn’t have been dreamt of twenty years ago.12 Innovation happens fast and leaders need to be at the forefront if they want to stay ahead. This often means challenging existing ways of doing things and having an open mind to new ideas. Chris Boardman, technical director and the man in charge of British Cycling’s legendary Secret Squirrel laboratory, exemplifies this. With the recognition that there is little alteration that can be carried out to Sir Chris Hoy’s bike itself, Boardman encouraged Hoy to spend time working in a wind tunnel, under observation, to discover changes that he could make to his own technique which would improve his performance.10 Boardman is keen for athletes to experiment with the aim of doing things that little bit better which result in a big difference in performance.10 For a leader to drive change, it is necessary that they both demonstrate an awareness of the situation and make changes in response to events they have noticed. 13 Interviews with many of the NPDs echoed the belief that leaders ought to constantly evaluate and review the situation that they are operating in. In the words of one NPD: “One of the great things I’ve learnt is to go in with my eyes open… Often people don’t take the time


to understand the culture of the country and the culture of the sport. They are making real errors from the beginning and I think luckily I was sensible about that when I came from(previous country) to (current country). However, I had to learn quickly that (current country) has a culture all of its own.”11 The notion of adapting strategies and approaches to meet any challenges that are faced was also supported by many of the NPDs of Olympic sports. Several of the NPDs interviewed referenced factors such as current political agendas and expectations from external stakeholders that could influence a team’s vision. They also emphasised the importance of allowing a vision to evolve and change over time such that it always remains appropriate for the team and situation. This is an eventuality which Team GB will face over the next few years as they prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The same things that contributed to their success in London will not necessarily work in Brazil, and UK Sport are already starting to consider the changes that need to be made. In Summary This article brings to life key elements of high performance leadership, acknowledging the similar challenges faced by leaders in both business and sport. Based on the importance of ‘working with your identity’, ‘creating meaning’, ‘delivering results’, and ‘driving change’, the framework highlights the factors that leaders should target to enhance performance.

10 Takeuchi, R., Chen, G., & Lepak, D. P. (2009). Through the looking glass of a social system: Cross-level effects of high performance work systems on employees’ attitudes. Personnel Psychology, 62, 1-29. 11 Arnold, R., Fletcher, D., & Molyneux, L. (2012). Performance leadership and management in elite sport: Recommendations, advice, and suggestions from national performance directors. European Sport Management Quarterly [Special Edition], 12, 317-336. 12 Pattenden, M (2012). Athletes use top technology to race in the Olympics. (2010). Retreived from 13 Yukl, G., & Lepsinger, R., 2006. Leading change: Adapting and innovating in an uncertain world. Leadership in Action, 26, 3-7.


The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

Better Never Stops Team GB’s motto for the 2012 Games was ‘Better Never Stops’. But what does this really mean for performance? To understand this further we asked individuals across Sport Psychology, Occupational Psychology and Business to share what this means in their worlds.

Sport Psychology

gun to go off, they do so with the complete belief that they have done everything possible to give them the best chance of winning. After each performance ARTICLE BY: Tara Jones athletes will scrutinize how they Principal Consultant, Lane4 did. Importantly the focus isn’t Being the best in the world is purely on what they could do amazing and getting there is tough, better, but is also on what they did but remaining there is even tougher; well. It is critical to thoroughly if you are not moving forwards you understand the factors that underpin will quickly be over taken. It really success in order to recreate it but is that simple. Having a ‘Better Never also to help build belief. And such Stops’ mindset is what really enables success should be recognised and performers to keep raising the bar. celebrated. The analysis should also One of the simple strategies elite focus on what could be better and athletes engage very seriously in when these things are found they is setting the right types of goals. should also be celebrated. And why They have a clear line of sight is this important? When margins between the long-term, highly are so small, finding something that motivational, aspirational goals could help you to gain that extra (e.g. winning Olympic medals) hundredth of a second is vital. through to the minutiae of the A great example of this is provided day-to-day goals. And they approach in an interview with Michael these goals with fanatical discipline Jamieson immediately after winning to ensure that, as they wait for the his silver medal in the 200m

Breaststroke. He talked of going home to look at what he did well and what he needed to work on order to win gold next time. Silver was a fantastic achievement that he worked hard for and would celebrate, but he was already looking to the next goal. And the Better Never Stops mindset doesn’t end when the athletic career is over. Just look at Michael Phelps. After winning a record 22 Olympic medals he will now apply this mindset to his golf game. Watch out Rory McIlroy! So how can we ensure that we maintain a ‘Better Never Stops’ mindset? • Approach your goal setting with fanatical discipline • Scrutinise your successes and celebrate them • Identify the weaknesses and celebrate those too

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ARTICLE BY: Paul Jewitt-Harris Practice Director, Lane4 When I first heard the motto, I actually didn’t like it. It sounded relentless to me, like a never ending quest for the unattainable. But when I thought about it further I realised it was more akin to restlessness; always asking the questions: What else? How else? What if? In business, who wouldn’t be interested in that? For me, this is about leaders being brave enough to instigate change before they have to. Not waiting for a burning platform but shaking things up so that they are always one step ahead of the competition. In my experience, leaders who do this well: Face reality As normal human beings leaders are subject to biases in the way they think. In particular they are prone to pay attention to things that suit their way of thinking and reinforce their existing beliefs. ‘Better Never Stops’ is about seeking and attending to things that challenge our current world view.

the front line and empower them to make decisions where they hold the expertise. They also need to be approachable. If a leader only ever wants ‘solutions not problems’ they will not be getting the full picture. Support people with change Ambiguity and change are amongst the most stressful things we encounter in the workplace. Leaders who drive change need to make sure that their people are behind them, respecting the past and providing a compelling future.

Occupational Psychology ARTICLE BY: Tom Smith Head of Talent Management and Assessment, Lane4

Sport can be a great metaphor for business providing inspirational stories and techniques for success. However, for me, ‘Better Never Stops’ means going back to basics and in my world I think that’s about revisiting performance management. In many companies, performance management is a tick box exercise that managers conduct once a year, Are visible and accessible Leaders are typically removed from but make no mistake, this is not what is happening ‘on the shop floor’. going to improve performance. This in itself isn’t an issue if they are So how can we make this better? I suggest the following tips willing to listen to the people on


for improving performance management: Performance management is for everyone Don’t view performance management simply as a remedial tool for underperformers. Everyone can benefit from feedback and data about how they are doing, especially your best performers who will be hungry for ways to be even better Collect good quality data Find out what’s important and measure people’s performance against it But make sure its specific to their needs Only measure the things that make a difference otherwise people will become overwhelmed Support ‘personal bests’ Help people to set goals that are really stretching and compelling. Then support them in working out how to get there Don’t mix effort with output Effort is important and should be rewarded but if someone is working hard and not getting results something needs to change. Similarly if someone is getting the results but going about it in a way that negatively impacts others then it needs to be addressed


The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

Developing Resilience – Lessons Learned from Olympic Champions ARTICLE BY Mustafa


Sarkar and David Fletcher

inning an Olympic gold medal is universally recognized as the pinnacle of sporting achievement and arguably the most demanding challenge an athlete can pursue. In a fascinating book1 about the personal qualities of Olympic champions, Michael Johnson explores the sporting journeys of over a dozen Olympic legends who between them have won 50 gold medals during the past four decades. A common theme throughout the book is the ability of champions to overcome various obstacles and challenges en route to their medal winning performance. Two stories are particularly noteworthy: Ian Thorpe broke his ankle just ten months before the

2000 Sydney Games but he found ways to use his strengths in order to enhance his training, and the International Olympic Committee removed Chris Hoy’s event from the Olympic programme after the 2004 Athens Games but he subsequently took up new cycling events to continue his Olympic ambition. Why is it that such sport performers are able to withstand the pressures associated with the Olympics and attain peak performances whereas others succumb to the demands and under-perform? We aimed to address this question in a recent study2 by interviewing twelve Olympic champions from a range of sports regarding their experiences of withstanding pressure during their

1 Johnson, M. (2011). Gold Rush: What Makes an Olympic Champion? London, UK: HarperSport. 2 Fletcher, D., & Sarkar, M. (2012). A grounded theory of psychological resilience in Olympic champions. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 13, 669-678.

sporting careers. We found that the world’s best athletes shared a unique mental resilience characterised by a number of key psychological attributes (relating to a positive personality, motivation, confidence, focus, and perceived social support) that provides support to the development of Lane4’s personal resilience framework (see sidebar). This article draws on the findings of our study, using quotes from the gold medallists, to show how individuals can enhance their own personal resilience for sustained high performance. Develop a Positive Personality Olympic gold medallists possessed numerous positive personality


The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

Strengthen Confidence

Lane4’s Personal Resilience framework is underpinned by performance psychology research in sport and business. The framework shows that personal resilience is influenced by a broad range of factors including your Health & Wellbeing, and the Performance Environment around you The individual characteristics of personal resilience can be grouped into: Success Strategies, Performance Mindset, and Resilient Character. Lane4’s Personal Resilience Framework

Success strategies h& alt He

Performance mindset

g ein llb We

Confidence was deemed to be a particularly important factor for the resilience of Olympic champions. “There were four of us challenging Various sources of confidence were for these final two places… and I got relevant to the world’s best athletes, told I was on the reserve list. And at including preparation, experience, the time it was devastating but it’s self-awareness, visualisation, one of those things; if you don’t take coaching, and teammates. The a ticket in the raffle, you’re never following quote illustrates how going to win a prize. So you have to confidence originating from the take the ticket… that’s part of life and team positively affected a gold it just makes you think ‘well, what medallist’s evaluation of pressure: can I do differently to make sure I do get success’?” “We were playing against (country) in our last game… and I looked at my Optimise Motivation opposite number and I thought ‘I’m going to give you a hard time today Olympic gold medallists had kid’… Now if I had that internal multiple internal (e.g., achieving thought 18 months ago, I would have personally referenced goals) and thought I was being schizophrenic external (e.g., proving their worth or something, because if you’re going to others) motives for competing to lose to anybody it’s (country), but at the highest level. Particularly I just felt I had such confidence in… important in the context of my team’s ability.” developing resilience, the world’s best athletes recognised that they Maintain Focus actively chose to engage with The ability to focus was an important challenging situations, such as aspect of resilience for the world’s balancing work and sport, as the best athletes. Specifically, they were following quote highlights: able to focus on themselves, not be “We all worked. But in terms of the distracted by others, focus on the build up to the Olympics, we didn’t process rather than the outcomes bat an eyelid in doing it… it was our of events, and were able to switch choice to do it. I don’t like the word their sport focus on and off to suit the demands they faced. sacrifice… Sacrifice to me is about last resort and there’s no alternative – One Olympic champion recalled that’s rubbish. We made a choice how his single-minded focus on

Lane4’s Personal Resilience Framework

Resilient Character


En vir on me nt

to do that and I think that choice in what we did we highly valued and I think that inspired us, motivated us to perform on the pitch and as a group.”

Pe rfo rm an ce &

characteristics, including openness to new experiences, conscientiousness, optimism, competitiveness, and proactivity. The following quote illustrates how one champion evaluated missing out on selection for a major international competition in a positive manner, due to his optimistic and proactive nature:

© Lane4

Success strategies can be viewed as the ‘pilot of the plane’. Controlled by the rational, conscious, logical brain, these conscious strategies can be taught and applied to manage emotions and attention, and make the right decisions when it counts. Performance mindset reflects the more intuitive brain; the ‘autopilot’. Dedication, tendency to thrive on challenge, and the ability to bounce back stronger following adversity all contribute towards a performance mindset. A resilient character reflects each individual’s secure base. The stronger your self-belief and drive to succeed, the more solid your foundation from which you can stretch yourself. Drive and self-belief are mutually reinforcing – the stronger your belief in your abilities, the more driven you feel to succeed. Likewise, insatiable drive to succeed tends to breed success, subsequently reinforcing your self-belief. Personal Identity sits at the base of the model, since your personality, core beliefs and values provide the foundation for your personal resilience, which affects your approach in all of the other areas.


The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

himself and the team resulted in him being almost unaware of the pressures around him:

develop resilience for sustained high performance. In view of the close link between performance excellence in sport and business,3 “It’s funny, in a way I was kind of organisations should seek to develop oblivious to pressures because the aforementioned psychological I think in some ways you just factors (i.e., positive personality, go so into yourself… well, it’s a motivation, confidence, focus, hugely selfish thing isn’t it? You’re and perceived social support) that concentrating on yourself and this employees can use to build their group of five people and you’re living own personal resilience. Resilience in each other’s pockets.” has a critical role to play in achieving success, as illustrated in the Recognise the Availability following extract from the Harvard of Social Support Business Review: Olympic champions perceived that high quality social support was “More than education, more than available to them, including support experience, more than training, from family, coaches, teammates, a person’s level of resilience will and support staff. According to one determine who succeeds and who gold medallist, his parents helped fails. That’s true in the cancer ward, to protect him from the pressures it’s true in the Olympics and it’s true of elite sport by giving him the in the boardroom.”4 opportunity to air his grievances: “I’ve got injured, I’ve not got selected, all those sort of things where it’s not Top Tips on Developing Resilience for Sustained High gone right… But… they (one’s parents) Performance talk it through with you. My mum especially would talk it through and say ‘What are you going to do about this?’ They didn’t judge me and say, ‘You’re doing this wrong’ or ‘you’re doing that right’, they just provided me with the support that you need and a sounding board to express myself.” Final Thoughts According to the Olympic champions, an integral aspect of their resilience was their ability to utilise and optimise a ‘specific mix’ of characteristics to withstand the pressures they encountered. Based on the study’s findings, we provide some top tips on how to

replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” 2. Be proactive in your personal development. For example, you could update your skills, expand your core competencies, and engage in career planning 3. Be sensitive to different types of motivation (e.g., internal and external) and consider the decisions you make as active choices rather than sacrifices 4. Build your confidence from multiple sources (e.g., performance accomplishments, experience, and colleagues) rather than focusing on one particular source

1. View setbacks as an opportunity for mastery and growth. During a 5 Focus on what you can commencement address at control, on processes, the Stanford University in 2005, present, positives, and Steve Jobs credited his early staying composed dismissal from Apple in 1985 as the key to his subsequent 6. Take specific steps to achievements: obtain the support that you need. Possible options “Getting fired from Apple may include seeking was the best thing that suitable mentors, building could have ever happened cohesive teams, and hiring to me. The heaviness competent staff of being successful was

3 Fletcher, D. (2010). Applying sport psychology in business: A narrative commentary and bibliography. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 1, 139-149. 4 Coutu, D. (2002, May). How resilience works. Harvard Business Review, 46-55.

The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012


Got Potential? ARTICLE BY Zara



inding, developing and managing high performers is a major differentiator for organisational success today. Yet less than 30% of European companies and only 15% of companies in North America and Asia are confident about the quality and amount of talent in their pipelines.1 Where are they going wrong? Most companies channel huge efforts into selecting the right people. But having selected your ‘high potentials’, what are you doing to help them fulfil that promise? More than 70% of today’s top performers lack the critical attributes essential to their success in future roles.2 This is unsurprising if competency frameworks focus on current and past performance rather than future requirements.3 The ability to learn is not only an important predictor of success in sport,4 business,3 and medicine,5 but also represents potential. So how can we help leaders learn to learn?

Why is a learning mindset important?

is also about helping individuals to fulfil their potential (Learning Mindset), and avoid derailment By the time ‘high potentials’ are or disengagement along the way nearing the top, the competencies (Personal Resilience), since the required to succeed are likely to have journey to the top is unlikely changed. The increasingly dynamic to be smooth. nature of work places a premium on Fig. 1 the ability to generalise knowledge and skills, adapting to new situations Potential4 – The Lane4 Talent Framework and problems. Learning is central to Lane4’s approach to talent OPPORTUNITY assessment and development, Potential going beyond current and past achievement to focus on potential. Building on research from sport Learning Personal Ability and business, plus our experience Mindset Resilience developing high performers in both Potential fields, our Potential4 framework OPPORTUNITY (see Figure 1) reflects the four key © Lane4 factors that underpin potential. So what makes some talent Three are personal characteristics: soar and others stall? Ability, Learning Mindset, and Personal Resilience. The fourth is On the job experience is thought Opportunity, reflecting the critical to account for a great deal of role played by organisations in senior managerial learning6,7, enabling individuals to thrive. but experience doesn’t invariably So talent management is not just lead to superior performance. about identifying and developing Nobody becomes outstanding core competencies (Ability), but without experience,

1 Fernández-Aráoz, C., Groysberg, B., & Nohria, N. (2011). How to hang on to your high potentials. Harvard Business Review, October, 2-9. 2 Martin, J., & Schmidt, C. (2010). How to keep your top talent. Harvard Business Review, May, 54-61. 3 Spreitzer, G.M., McCall, M.W., & Mahoney, J.D. (1997). Early identification of international executive potential. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82, 6-29. 4 Kitsantas, A., & Zimmerman, B. (2002). Comparing self-regulatory processes among novice, non-expert, and expert volleyball players: A microanalytic study, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 14, 91-105. 5 Ericsson (2004). Deliberate Practice and the Acquisition and Maintenance of Expert Performance in Medicine and Related Domains, Academic Medicine, 79, S70-S81. 6 Wick, C.W. (1989). How people develop: An in-depth look. HR Report, 6, 1-3. 7 Lowy, A., Kelleher, D., & Finestone, P. (1986). Management learning: Beyond program design. Training & Development Journal,40, 34-37.


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but mindless experience doesn’t automatically generate expertise (otherwise wouldn’t many avid sports fans be elite athletes?). Research with various professionalsfrom software designers, to wine tasters, to stock market investorsreveals that performance of highly experienced ‘experts’ is often no better than that of novices. In fact, there is evidence that physicians’ performance gets systematically worse with experience.8 It’s not safe to assume that individuals with extensive experience will be better at the job – it’s the quality of that experience and how well they have learnt from it that counts. Swedish psychologist, Anders Ericsson’s extensive research shows that dedicated, deliberate practice is necessary for the development and maintenance of many types of professional performance. Highly structured and intense, deliberate practice is specifically designed to maximise improvement; adapted to each individual to stretch their performance beyond its current level. Immediate feedback, a focus on errors or weaknesses, problem-solving, and repetition are key ingredients. British football coach Simon Clifford found this type of practise to underpin the extraordinary success of Brazilian football. “People have this idea of Brazilian football being played on beaches and of the players being relaxed and just naturally good at it” recalls Clifford. “What I found was that they worked ferociously hard.”9 He discovered Brazilians playing ‘futsal’, an intensified version of football

using a smaller and heavier ball and a shrunken area of play. Practise is amplified - ball touches are quicker and more frequent; precision, quick thinking and sharp passing are paramount.10 It makes ‘normal’ football easy. How can you apply this to business? Lane4 takes these principles into business using meticulously designed development centres where intense, real-role scenarios are recreated in a safe environment where people can make mistakes and learn, with rich individualised feedback focussed on performance enhancement. We equip leaders with the skills they need to maximise learning from their on-the-job experiences. In sport, the quality of learners’ strategies – planning, adaptation, self-evaluation, self-monitoring, self-motivation – has been found to be a better predictor of success than athletes’ knowledge of technique or years of experience.11 In business, we recognise four main components that shape an individual’s capacity to learn:

1. A  ccurate self-perception and a drive to learn Effective learning is underpinned by a foundation of self-belief; an individual’s belief that they can make a success of most situations at work, and that their effort to

learn will enhance their performance.12 However, over confidence can lead to a lack of curiosity for learning – thinking you know most of what there is to know, you risk plateauing, or worse, derailing. Without an accurate perception of their strengths and weaknesses, individuals are unlikely to experience a drive to learn. And not only must individuals feel driven to learn, but this must also be paired with a drive to transfer this learning into practise.

2. Embracing challenge Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck discovered that students’ success is influenced not only by their actual ability, but also by the beliefs and goals they bring to the situation.12 A growth mindset – the belief that the harder you work, the more your ability grows – creates receptiveness to challenging situations, knowing that this will promote selfimprovement. Errors and feedback are embraced as valuable tools for success. In contrast, people with a fixed mindset believe that hard work implies a lack of ability, since they consider talent something that you either have naturally, or you don’t. This encourages people to stay in their comfort zone, avoiding new or challenging situations that could highlight lack of ability.

8 Ericsson (2004). Deliberate Practice and the Acquisition and Maintenance of Expert Performance in Medicine and Related Domains, Academic Medicine, 79, S70-S81. 9 Syed, M. (2010). Bounce: The myth of talent and the power of practice. Fourth Estate: London. 10 Coyle, D. (2009). The Talent Code: Greatness isn’t born, it’s grown. Random House: New York. 11 Grossman, R., & Salas, E. (2011). The transfer of training: what really matters? International Journal of Training & Development, 15, 103-120. 12 Blackwell, L.S., Trzesniewski, K.H., & Dweck, C.S. (2007). Implicit Theories of Intelligence Predict Achievement Across an Adolescent Transition: A Longitudinal Study and an Intervention. Child Development, 78, 246-263.

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research shows that outstanding performance requires practising beyond the point of mastery. The reason for it was explained by Daniel Coyle in The Talent Code: “Every human skill, whether it’s playing baseball or playing Bach, is 3. Receptivity to feedback created by chains of nerve fibres… Receptivity to feedback is critical When we practise swinging that for learning. The extent to which bat or playing that note – our individuals seek feedback, how they myelin responds by wrapping layers react to it, interpret it and use it, has of insulation around that neural a significant impact on development. circuit, each new layer adding a bit Elite athletes thrive on feedback more skill and speed. The thicker – constantly seeking opinions, the myelin gets, the better insulates, analysing video footage and other and the faster and more accurate performance data to assess how they our movements and thoughts can improve their performance. become.”10 The business equivalents include decision-making, giving How often does this happen feedback, closing sales, delivering in business? Effective learning requires continuous monitoring presentations, writing reports. of discrepancies between intended With experience, skills become and actual outcomes. Individuals automated, with less mental need to be able to reflect on capacity required- this is why feedback, drawing lessons about the learner drivers struggle to effectiveness of their own thoughts simultaneously drive a car and and actions. Leaders’ ability to step hold a conversation. Experts are able outside of themselves, observe their to retrieve knowledge effortlessly, thinking as if from an external with less demand on conscious perspective, is vital. Without attention. How? Actual practice effective reflection, individuals can be complemented, and in some are unable to identify the changes cases, replaced by imagined practice needed to improve performance. in the form of detailed mental In contrast, unproductive reflection rehearsal or visualisation.14 sees individuals ruminate excessively Business simulations or case over what didn’t work as opposed to studies can be used to practise what’s possible and changeable.13 making judgments about performance of a task before and after receiving feedback. Finally, if this is how leaders can ‘learn to learn’, what are the practical implications for HR and business leaders? 4. PractICe As already mentioned, decades of

• Managers should be encouraged to promote quality on the job


learning experiences, based on an understanding of how to structure work experiences for best learning potential • Managers should be enlightened about the impact of their own beliefs about ability (fixed or growth mindsets) on others’ performance – through the nature of their feedback • Performance management processes should recognise and reinforce learning, effort, and embracing challenge – think twice before punishing errors • On-the-job learning is most likely to occur when managers are faced with challenging job situations – resist the temptation to play it safe for short-term gains. Take considered risks on people, giving them opportunities to rise to the challenge, with appropriate support and feedback on their performance (regardless of the outcome) • Expose employees to different people and departments, sharing different viewpoints so that they can appreciate other perspectives • Understand that learning from experience, particularly challenging stretch assignments, is difficult when major career decisions are at stake, and the primary focus is on performing well rather than learning • Recognise that experience doesn’t necessarily lead to improved performance, and that those with more experience may not necessarily be good at helping others learn

13 Avolio, B., & Hannah, S. (2008). Developmental readiness: Accelerating leader development. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice & Research, 60, 331–347. 14 Fazey, J., Fazey, J.A., & Fazey, D. (2005). Learning More Effectively from Experience. Ecology & Society 10, 4-25.


The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

Lessons from Sport

Saracens Personal Development Programme Caring for & Developing People ARTICLE BY

David Priestley

(Saracens Performance Manager)


orking in the areas of psychology and personal development, I am fortunate that at Saracens RFC everyone from the Chairman, the CEO, the (previous and existing) Director of Rugby and senior coaches embrace and understand the need to develop our players as people, not just rugby players. In 2009/2010 Saracens Personal Development Programme (PDP) was created with the overriding ethos of ‘caring’ for our players, and developing wellrounded human beings. Whilst similar programmes are funded and driven by Player Unions and National Governing bodies of Professional and Olympic Sports, few are funded and driven from within a club. The lofty aims of Saracens PDP are:

To improve and develop the players growth as a person To ensure players are not solely defined by their sporting performances1,2 In line with a substantial body of research from sport psychologists all over the world, to pro-actively alleviate current anxieties and insecurities about what they will do when they retire; to sharpen their sporting ambitions and performances in the present3, and ultimately help players make smoother transitions out of their athlete role4,5,6 To act as a buffer during difficult periods whilst developing a sense of perspective and providing emotional balance throughout their careers7 To attract, retain and develop talented people to gain competitive advantages in what is a highly competitive industry.

1 Brewer, B.W., Van Raatle, J.L. & Linder, D.E. (1993). Athletic Identity: Hercules’ muscles or Achilles’’ Heal? International Journal Of Sport Psychology, 24, 237 – 254. 2 Grove, J.R., Lavallee, D., & Gordon, S. (1997). Coping with retirement from sport: The influence of athletic identify. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 9, 191-203. 3 Fogarty, G., Fraser, L., & Albion, M. (2007). Evaluation of the Athlete Career and Education Program: Phase 7. Community and Organisational Research Unit, University of Southern Queensland. 4 Werthner, P., & Orlick, T. (1986). Retirement experiences of successful Olympic athletes. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 17, 337-363. 5 Lavallee, D. (2000). Theoretical Perspectives on career termination in Sport. In D. Lavallee & P. Wylleman (Eds.), Career Transitions in Sport: International Perspectives (pp. 1-29). Morgantown: Fitness Information Technology, Inc. 6 Anderson, D. & Morris, T. (2000). Athlete Lifestyle Programmes. In D. Lavallee & P. Wylleman (Eds.), Career Transitions in sport: International Perspectives (pp. 59-80). Morgantown: Fitness Information Technology. 7 Brown, M., Cairns, K., & Botterill, C. (2001). The process of perspective: The art of living well in the world of elite sport. Journal of excellence, 5, 5-37

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I categorically believe that ‘caring for’ and Personal Development Support in high performance sport (and high performing cultures) is crucial. It is in no way peripheral in terms of support designed to improve performance and will ultimately matter to any organisation’s legacy. Saracens PDP model is illustrated in Figure 1, and comprises five tiers of support for the professional players, four tiers of support for the

clubs support staff, and an additional Lifeskill & Leadership Programme for the next generation of players. Whilst it is beyond the scope here to describe each tier in detail, some elements are elaborated on below, with the model offering a concise summary of each support element. Saracens Speaker Series, once a month, challenges our people (players and staff) to push our individual and collective limits. Whether it be Michael Johnson, Fig. 1


Sir Jackie Stewart or Justin Langer sharing their experiences, or the Executive Director of London Air Ambulance (Dr Julian Thompson) or the Founder of Global Ethics & ‘One’ (Duncan Goose), there is a monthly commitment within our club to listen to, and learn from, other people’s experiences to help face our own challenges with a greater dignity and grace. Saracens players are regularly exposed to ‘Vocational Workshops’


Saracens Players Senior Academy

Departmental Workshops

Interactive workshops designed to keep departments up to date with the most recent research and best practice in their area (or outside of their discipline but related in some way to their practice. Depts. inc S&C, Medical & Coaching)

Individual Staff Professional Development Plans

Individual support for staffs’ professional development interests (with Individualised graded annual budgets)

Saracens Speaker Series

High achievers, from a variety of professions & disciplines will be invited to share their stories and experiences, to widen our own perspectives on life challenges (everyone)

Charitable Partnerships

Involvement in a range of charitable causes. Contributing to, and positively influencing organisations that support disadvantaged people. Encouraging a social responsibility.

VocaTIonal Personal Development Sessions

Individual Personal Development Plans

Large group sessions designed to stimulate thinking with regards specific matters of vocational development (everyone)

Individual support for your personal development interests (vocational or educational) ‘alongside’ your rugby.

Saracens Lecture Series

From visiting speakers talking on areas of business, personal, sporting and professional development in a more interactive and personal setting (limited places available)

Saracens Leadership & Lifeskill Programme: Surprising & challenging, monthly experiences to foster greater respect for sport and life’s core values, to expand and accelerate the maturity of our young players. Ensuring any individual’s journey through sport, and their time with the club is as meaningful and rewarding as possible.


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on networking, negotiating, or simply hearing from the diverse and fascinating experiences of successful CEO’s from businesses as diverse as Healthcare, Property, Finance and Fashion. Players are also challenged through ‘Saracens Lecture Series’ in greater depth with theoretical underpinning and further reading on topics such as Emotional Intelligence and Conflict Management. In addition to systematic internal training, both players and staff have made a commitment to ‘Charitable Partnerships’ in which we are privileged to utilise the nature of sport in contributing to our local community and those less fortunate than ourselves. Whether it be regular visits to ‘The Choir with no name’ (a choir for homeless people) in London (where our players volunteer to wash dishes after rehearsals), or a terrifying abseil to raise funds for the Hospice of St Francis, players and staff at Saracens realise the responsibility that comes with being professional sportsmen, and the way in which we can all ‘give’ some of our time, and use sport as a vehicle to support noble causes.

to note that during the three most successful years in the club’s history, approximately 85% of professional players have been in structured education (with as many as 50% at university) and/or engaged in meaningful work experience placements. Every single person in the entire club has had exposure to some form of personal development activity since 2009. Fig. 4 Saracens players at the Royal Navy Lifeboat Institute

Fig. 3 Saracens players at a 6-month work placement with Allianz

Saracens Lifeskill & Leadership Programme is designed to experientially foster greater respect for sport and life’s core values within our future players. Professional sports arenas can, in my experience, drive an increasingly ‘win at all costs’ mentality with a narcissistic and financially driven culture where arguably old-fashioned morals might sometimes be eroded or seen as outdated when celebrity status beckons. Saracens Lifeskill & Leadership Programme creates regular opportunities to accelerate the sporting and personal development of our finest young men. Fig. 2 Saracens players with children Individual players are nurtured from Great Ormond Street Hospital and guided through group based It might also be of particular interest experiences, and reflective

Fig. 5 Saracens players at the McLaren Technology Centre conversations where players are asked what they learnt about themselves from the experiences, what shocked them, what was going on internally that they didn’t share in the moment but felt, and what they would do next time they experience a similar situation., This helped them to discover more about ‘themself ’ and how best to manage the unpredictable highs and inevitable lows in sport, and in life. Opportunities challenge Saracens players to leave their comfort zones and enhance the self-discovery process, which I believe is so crucial to their future. The Programme operates to ensure any individual’s journey with Saracens (whether it be as brief as one year, or as long

The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

(Menard & Larson, 2008)8 optimises career development of the NASA workforce. Furthermore, research suggests that when PDPs in the workplace are seen Returns on Investment as a development tool, and the supervisor is perceived as motivating, “The Saracens PDP has the employee is far more likely to undertake more learning allowed the players to be activities, show more expertiseexposed to experiences growth and flexibility, and report outside of professional rugby, improved performance9. There to listen to and learn from the are also strong recommendations experiences of other people. by the government to use PDPs in order to stimulate the continuous The practical experiences professional development of health that are facilitated allow the service in the UK10. Psychological players to be challenged, in and Personal Development Support areas outside of our normal like more recognisable sport science training and playing routine. generally takes place amidst a The individual nature of the myriad of other support and programme means each player guidance. It is always going to be difficult to understand which, if any can work to develop exactly of these support inputs are salient those areas that they wish with regards to individual and team to. This programme has had performance at any moment in time. enormous benefits for each It seems fair to propose however, player and the group and is certainly my experience over the last 13 years in professional sport, as a whole.” that by investing in the personal (Steve Borthwick, Saracens Captain) development and holistic support The inception of Saracens PDP was of our players and staff (and maybe your employees), with an emphasis only as recent as 2009, so I cannot espouse the benefits of a longitudinal on building a culture that develops research study, nor have I conducted people, we will receive an incredible return on our investment11. a control group design comparing PDP and non-PDP users. Indeed, In closing I want to stress that there is much understandable Saracens PDP is not just about ambiguity around outcomes that a model, an Individual Personal accompany psychological and Development Plans nor is it personal development so readers especially anything to do with my may wish to explore the effect of job description. It is about a Personal Development Programmes collection of quality people, making in other working domains. Like a conscious commitment to better how NASA’s Integrated Learning themselves in relation to their and Development Programme current role and their future life; as ten years), is as meaningful and rewarding as possible, as we seek to develop better people, regardless of their sporting success.


I would also hope it is now part of our culture. At Saracens there is an emphasis on humility, and I sense it is a value that fortifies any PDP, and will become integral to both our club’s legacy and any potential success in the years to come. IMPLICATIONS FOR YOUR BUSINESS

1. Employ and empower someone to drive an agenda of caring and personal development  tilise guest speakers, 2.U arrange lectures, deliver workshops and integrate charitable partnerships to challenge your employee’s current thinking and future goals within and outside their work 3. O  rganise real world experiences that surprise and stimulate your workforce to unite them around a common cause and develop their self awareness and mental skills 4. S upport, through words and deeds, a culture of personal development * Saracens PDP in collaboration with Hertfordshire University, and with thanks to Peter Harvey, Richard Hill, Neil Burns, Tyrone Long and Mark Lowther.

8 Menard, R., & Larson, W. (2008). Manuscript presented at the 59th International Astronautical Congress, Glasgow, Scotland, 29 September and 3 October 2008”. 9 Beausaert, S. A. J., (2011). Maastricht, The Netherlands, 2011 ISBN: 9789461590749 Cover: Jo Frenken, Jan Van Eyck Academy. Printed and bound by Datawyse, Maastricht, The Netherlands. 10 Bullock, A., Firmstone, V., Frame, J., & Bedward, J. (2007). Enhancing the benefit of continuing profes- sional development: A randomized controlled study of personal development plans for dentists. Learning in Health and Social Care, 6 (1), 14-26 11 P  riestley, D. (2008). A qualitative exploration of lifestyle oriented and non-performance based experiences of professional English county cricketers. A critique of existing support structures and practitioner support roles. Unpublished Doctoral Thesis. British Library.


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Emma Weeks

ocial media is here, and is a daily part of peoples’ lives. The majority of organisations have embraced its use for marketing purposes – promoting new products to a wide-ranging (and ever-growing) audience, having great conversations with customers and monitoring the activity of the competition. But have organisations really embraced its use internally – for employees to connect, engage and have great conversations?

internally to garner the same level of engagement while at work?

personal profile on a social site – it is an opportunity for a leader to show their personality, reinforce existing ‘ve spoken to three senior messages and start conversations execs about their view on with employees. Leaders can use the use of social media it as a pulse check – a way to share internally within organisations ideas and ultimately build rapport – does it, or how can it, promote with employees that they may not employee conversations, engagement see every day. Social media is making and connection? leadership more personal – it’s an insight into my personality, getting to Adrian Moorhouse: Business Leader know me better, but also giving me the opportunity to understand my think the use of social employees that little bit more. The popularity of social media media internally is an There is a whole generation who is undeniable: untapped area within a lot are growing up with this technology ocial media has grown of organisations. As a business leader, and who are going to be the future rapidly – nearly four in five I understand that I am a role model, employees – and leaders – of your active internet users visit figure head and very visible. But it’s organisations. Why would they social networks and blogs1 not just my physical presence and choose to work in your organisation planned corporate messages that if you are not engaging with them on their platform of choice? Why are acebook declared that there are scrutinised – my presence on public social media sites are just as they going to respect their current were 955 million monthly important – and my behaviour here senior leaders if they are not visible, active users at the end should be congruent with the values authentic and transparent? of June 20122 and messages I display elsewhere. I’m not suggesting that there orldwide, people send on What about those business leaders aren’t limitations to social media – average 140 million tweets not visible and present on social discussing organisational strategy in per day3 media sites? According to recent a public forum where competitors hese are big numbers we’re research,4 only 1 CEO out of the FTSE may be present is not the best idea, talking about. More likely 100 is actively using Twitter. I think and having detailed or confidential than not, your employees leaders need to step out of their discussions are a no-no. But as long are using it outside of work to comfort zone. I think a presence on as you are sensible, the benefits keep connected to friends, family social media will be a crucial part of outweigh any potential downfalls. and gather important information. a leader’s role in the future – just like Social media is a great opportunity If they’re familiar with the technology, ‘town hall’ presentations. Whether for leaders to engage with employees and actively use it, why not use it this is a blog, a twitter feed, or a in an authentic and genuine way.





1 Nielson, December 2011 - 2 Facebook - 3 Twitter, March 2011 - 4

The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012 These platforms haven’t been created in a corporate lab – they have been built to bring people closer together – and what business leader wouldn’t want to encourage this interconnectivity among their employees?

brand – this is an opportunity to convert your employees, making them all brand ambassadors. Social media may not be an appropriate internal communication tactic for every business but it’s certainly here to stay. Benefits of its use include innovation and idea Louise Oliver: Senior exchange, employee engagement, Communications Consultant knowledge management and collaboration. Utilising a social media ocial media is a key aspect in your next L&D programme communications tool feels like a no-brainer – encourage embraced by many brands your employees to ask questions, especially in their external marketing discuss topics, share stories and get activities. Even businesses that are closer to each other. not at the cutting edge cannot ignore the popularity of channels such as Facebook and Twitter. There is no Neil Morrison: HRD, Random House doubt that social media platforms have become part of the fabric he focus of social media of modern society and how we shouldn’t be about tools, it communicate with our networks. should be about the value For many internal that the tools can create. We seem communicators, social media has to understand this increasingly when served to heighten collaboration it comes to external marketing, but among employees as well as drive somehow lose this when it comes participation and engagement with to employee use. Often because business objectives. It also breaks debates on internal use are based down the hierarchy, giving employees on fear, mistrust and control, rather and leaders an opportunity to than excitement, engagement and communicate on an even platform. empowerment. In many organisations, however, it Web 2.0, the social web, social remains a slightly foreign concept, media....whatever you choose to call most comfortably deployed by it is perhaps the most liberating employees outside of office hours. opportunity for businesses since the One of the major consequences invention of the microchip. So why of social media is that the lines are we so reticent to harness the of internal communication and power of this internally? Allowing external communication have been employees to listen and engage with consumers, customers and blurred beyond recognition. It is clients. To share knowledge and now neigh-on impossible to ensure that an internal message (whether it learning, amongst themselves, to ask questions. These are all elements of is spoken or written) is not shared externally. Although this may sound human management practice that frightening, it is an exciting challenge we have talked about for years and the moment that we have the tools to for all internal communicators really enable us to do so, we shy away – make your message consistent, credible and engaging. We’ve all heard and hide behind policies. of ‘brand love’ – marketing speak for a Treating employees as adults, consumer’s fondness of their favourite means trusting them to do the right




thing, giving them responsibility and accountability and accepting that sometimes things go wrong. Treating employees as adults is also counter intuitive to most organisations. Those that try to control social media, that are fearful of social media are missing out on an opportunity to redefine their organisational culture. Those that trust and understand the value that their employees create will see this as an opportunity to further drive value and engagement within their organisations What’s in it for you?


s our working lives involve more time spent online, it would make sense to be able to talk to employees using their preferred platform. Do you have time to wait three days for an email reply, or two weeks to arrange a project focus group? Huge organisations are utilising instant messaging platforms, dedicated blogs and Facebook pages to engage employees directly – using technology they are familiar with. But, crucially, not every organisation is embracing the use of social media internally. There are a number of common barriers to the implementation of social media within an organisation, which often include lack of understanding, deployment without clear purpose and poor technological infrastructure. All of these can be overcome with clear planning and an understanding of how your employees will be using it. The relationship between employees and workplaces is changing - because that’s what you’re in now, and have been all along – a relationship with your employees. Organisations need to become more social, or be aware of the implications of being left behind.


The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

HOT TOPICS Mark Richardson Principal Consultant Lane4 Tom’s ability to compartmentalise different aspects of his life is clearly a signature strength. His ability to refocus, seize ‘control of the controllables’ and to disregard the pressures brought to bear by a ‘home’ games as well as the shadow side of social media to clinch an Olympic Bronze was nothing short of remarkable. Tom is also a fine example of what can be achieved if you set goals that command your thoughts, liberate your energy and inspire your hopes. At the age of nine he drew a picture of himself on the podium at London 2012 and he had the fortitude, resilience and learning capacity to deliver on that inspirational dream.

How do athletes bounce back? The case of Tom Daley Tom Daley faced a lot of setbacks before winning his bronze medal at London 2012; his father dying, a particularly aggressive twitter troll and missing out on a medal in the men’s 10m synchro event.

Is Internal Comms a ‘nice to have’ or essential tool of modern business?

“The range of available options means that internal communications are faster and easier to distribute. This can be a double-edged sword.” HR Magazine highlight the importance of internal communications but discuss the associated dangers such as employees being bombarded with different messages, corporate jargon and lack of ownership as different departments vie for control. mployers-refuseflexible-2012-olympics

Patrick Mammone Communications Executive Lane4 Good communication is crucial for engagement, and employee engagement is crucial to performance. Regardless of where internal comms sits within an organisation, a consistent and quality approach is essential. As the article describes, great internal communicators must be able to act as strategic advisors and manage multiple stakeholder relationships, whilst at the same time support the tactical delivery of everyday communication. Here at Lane4, our communications philosophy is underpinned by the M.A.D. acronym. To deliver a consistent and quality approach to communication, we ask our clients to consider what their one big idea is (the message), who they are communicating to (their audience) and how they can communicate this effectively (delivery).

The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012

Adrian Moorhouse Managing Director Lane4 When times are difficult, as they have been for many businesses over the past few years, we tend to focus on the daily grind. What the Olympics provided was some respite; a chance to get together socially and just enjoy each other’s company. But what’s really interesting to me is the impact on productivity. What was going on here? My guess is that watching people push themselves to the limits to reach their goals inspired a different attitude – ‘what’s the best I can be?’ rather than ‘what’s good enough?’. The challenge here is to sustain this shift. At an organisational level, companies should be looking at how they can continue to use lessons and role models from the Games to inspire high performance. On a personal level, people can look at what they did differently – a lunch time run or one less coffee break perhaps – and think about how to turn this into a habit.

Has The Olympics Boosted Workplace Morale? According to a recent study by People Management magazine, seven in ten managers said that their workplace had bonded over the joint viewing experience, while 37 per cent had felt more personally productive. olympics-boosted-workplace-morale-study-shows.htm


Do ‘performance standards’ such as those employed by Team GB work? Clive Woodward told The Guardian he had noticed that cycling and other leading sports had higher standards of behaviour than others in Beijing. “We weren’t one team in the cultures, the standards and how we operated, so we have come up with five key words: performance, responsibility, unity, pride and respect.” These ‘bare minimum standards’ were set up to engender a feeling of team spirit amongst all athletes who were part of Team GB.

Dominic Mahony Client Services Director Lane4 As Team Manager for the Modern Pentathlon, what really struck me was that this wasn’t just a management edict, stuck on a wall and then ignored forever more. I believe this was because there was as much focus placed on the process as the resultant ‘standards’. All Team Managers were engaged in this process which filtered through to the athletes so that everyone felt they had contributed. As a result the standards moved from espoused to enacted by every single member of the team. The process was also supported by really high class materials. These included videos of ex-Olympians such as Ed Moses and Michael Johnson talking about their experiences of the Home Games alongside some of our own role models such as Dame Kelly Holmes and Sir Chris Hoy bringing the standards to life.


The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012


Vicky Wells Principal Consultant Lane4

Fiona McPhee Management Trainer Lane4

Natalie Benjamin Head of Communications Lane4

Emma Weeks Marketing Executive Lane4

Dr. Zara Whysall Head of Research and Product Lane4

Vicky has worked with Lane4 since 1999. She has a background in delivering large scale change projects in several sectors including Retail and Utilities. Her interest lies particularly in conflict resolution and working with organisations, teams and individuals experiencing change and conflict. She is passionate about the opportunities for delivering changes well and achieving peak performance in difficult circumstances.

Fiona joined Lane4 in 2006 as part of the Research and Diagnostics Team, supporting clients to identify strengths and development areas. She then branched into Consultant Development before moving into the Training Team as a Management Trainer. Fiona has an MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Loughborough University and was scouted for England Netball trials at the age of 16 becoming a Tier Three player. She continues to play and coach for enjoyment.

Natalie trained as a journalist at Cardiff School of Journalism, moving into marketing, PR and public affairs within agencies before transitioning into employee and leadership communication roles. She has competed for Great Britain over 1500m and also competed for Wales at the 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games. Natalie leads Lane4’s Communications business..

Emma joined Lane4 in 2010, after graduating from Sussex University and working in marketing for 3 years. She has since gained the Professional Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and is an Associate of the Institute. Emma works in the Lane4 marketing team and manages Lane4’s external communications via PR, social media and the Lane4 website.

Zara is responsible for the ongoing, innovative development of Lane4 Research and Product, in alignment with market and client requirements. She has an MSc in Occupational Psychology from Nottingham University and a PhD in Applied Psychology (Behaviour Change) from Loughborough University. Zara has recently been appointed a Visiting Fellow of Loughborough University in recognition of Lane4’s close work with the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences.

Melanie Wallinger Product Development Consultant Lane4

Richard BriegelJones Business Development Assistant Lane4

Christian Thing Management Trainer Lane4

Penny Mavor Associate Consultant Lane4

Lindsay Molyneaux National Sports Coordinator, English Institute of Sport

Melanie joined Lane4 in 2010. Her role as a Product Development Consultant is centred around translating academic research and theory in business and performance psychology into innovative product offerings. Prior to joining Lane4 Melanie completed her Masters in Occupational and Organisational Psychology. Outside of work she takes part in a variety of sports and enjoys travelling.

Richard joined Lane4 having completed a Masters in Sport Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University. Before joining Lane4, Richard worked at Liverpool Football Club in the Education and Welfare Department. In collaboration with the Amateur Swimming Association and Liverpool John Moores, Richard was lead author on a research project investigating the effects of yoga on mindfulness and flow in elite youth swimmers, which was presented at the British Psychological Society 2012 Annual Conference.

Christian joined Lane4 in 2009 having completed an MSc in Performance Psychology at the University of Edinburgh. As part of the Training Team he works with managers to develop skills that improve team and individual performance. Christian has a keen interest in team dynamics and in particular how teams create environments which allow all members to perform at their best.

Penny joined Lane4 in 2006 and is now an Associate Consultant based in Rome. She draws her expertise, experience and energy from working in sustainable development and leadership development in New Zealand, United Kingdom and Italy. For the last 19 years she has been helping individuals, teams and organisations from multiple industry sectors enhance their performance through coaching and facilitation, and has a particular interest in mindfulness.

Lindsay combines her passion for achieving high performance and interest in people development by co-ordinating various national programmes at the English Institute of Sport. She is a sport and exercise science graduate from Loughborough University, where she explored performance leadership and recently published a research paper in this area. Lindsay also enjoyed working for LOCOG to support World Archery at the London 2012 Games.

The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012


Janine Usher Management Trainer Lane4

Rick Cotgreave Associate Management Trainer Lane4

Suzanne Ross Leadership Consultant

Dr. David Fletcher Director of the Sport Psychology Support Service, Loughborough University

Dr Chris Wagstaff Senior Lecturer and Performance Psychologist University of Portsmouth

Janine is a former world class swimmer having competed at the highest level internationally. Whilst a member of the GB Senior swimming team for 8 years she competed at two Olympic Games, finishing 6th in the Olympic Final in Sydney 2000, and became World Champion and World Record holder as part of the 4x200 freestyle relay in 2001. Janine has an MSc in Sport & Exercise Psychology from Loughborough University. She has been a member of the Lane4 Training team since 2010.

Rick is a former England lacrosse international - playing and coaching in Europe, North America and Australia. Having retired from playing he followed his passion for sharing the benefits of sport, teaching PE in Sheffield. His latest transformation brings his enthusiasm to coaching and training. Rick has a keen interest in helping develop the mindset that embraces change and creates positive performance gains.

Suzanne has 20 years experience in performance development. She works as an independent talent consultant, leadership coach and facilitator. Suzanne is a fellow of Nottingham Business School, where she is completing a PhD on leadership talent, success and derailment. If you are a Senior Leader and would like to take part in this research, please contact Suzanne at or on +44 (0)7879 559046.

David is a distinguished sport psychologist, having published ground-breaking research in the area of elite performance and consulted with world and Olympic medal winners. Since receiving his doctorate degree, David has worked as the Director of the Sport Psychology Support Service at Loughborough University – The Official Preparation Camp Headquarters for Team GB prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Chris is a psychologist with expertise in the development of elite performance domains. He researches and consults with senior leaders, talented individuals and teams across sport, military, and business sectors. He worked closely with a number of Olympic and Paralympic athletes in the lead up to and during this summer’s Games.

Eleanor Hanley Talent Management and Assessment Consultant Lane4

Mustafa Sarkar PhD Research Student Loughborough University

David Priestley Performance Manager, Saracens RFC

Rachel Arnold PhD Research Student Loughborough University

Eleanor is passionate about supporting individuals, teams and organisations to improve their performance through increased awareness of strengths and development areas. She is en route to full chartership as an Occupational Psychologist and is Level A and B accredited in Dimensions. She is also an accredited coach and uses this approach in her work with clients. She advises on, and delivers a range of talent management including development centres, assessment centres and psychometrics.

Mustafa is a PhD researcher in Sport and Performance Psychology at Loughborough University. His research provides an insight into how high achievers deliver sustainable performance in pressured environments. He has worked closely with sport organisations including British Triathlon, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the National Health Service, and the Youth Sport Trust.

David is first and foremost, a family man. He has worked in professional sport for over 13 years, in Football, Cricket and currently works for Saracens. His Masters and PhD explored the lives of professional athletes and how to support them. He adopts a person-centered approach to sport and team psychology and supports various charities through his work in sport.

Rachel is a final year PhD research student in Sport and Performance Psychology at Loughborough University. Her research focuses on the psychology of sporting excellence, with specific reference to performance leadership, management, environments, and cultures. Drawing on this research and her own current experiences as an elite-level hockey player, Rachel provides psychology-related support to various sport performers and organisations.


The Wave, Lane4 Issue 4 – October 2012


Please find below a selection of interesting articles, urls, recommended reads, conferences and exhibitions to attend or just stuff we at Lane4 think is interesting.

Our resident Tweeter, Emma Weeks recommends:


@HuffPostUK The latest news headlines, served up alongside opinions and blogs from across the UK. @OccpsychUK Occupational Psychology relevant news, research and events.


If Not Now, When?: One man’s extraordinary quest for Olympic glory, twenty years after his first gold medal (Macmillan) Greg Searle Our own Greg Searle’s story of the highs, lows and sheer hard work that it takes to perform at the top level in sport.

@TalentMgtMag The New Psychology of The Business of Talent Management. Leadership: Identity, Influence Tweets from Talent Management and Power (Psychology Press) Magazine. S.A. Haslam, S.D. Reicher and @neilmorrison M.J. Platow HRD of Random House, contributor “Haslam, Reicher and Platow to this issue of The Wave and runs skilfully navigate the reader an award winning HR blog http:// through the journey that the psychology of leadership has taken over time. Starting with BLOGS the historical approach of the ‘great man’ theory, the book unfolds various theories of Lane4 Commentate leadership and brings the reader Commentate is our new blog to what the authors refer to as which shares our insights into the ‘the new psychology of exciting world of communication. leadership’ – an understanding We talk mostly about our of social identity and selfexperiences and observations categorisation. Comprehensible on internal communications and and accessible this book paints offer you our views on the latest a picture of the ‘why’ of human news, trends and best practice. behaviour, and the tools at a leader’s disposal to influence it.” Follow Lane4 Commentate: Melanie Wallinger http://www.lane4performance. com/blogs.aspx?sitesectionid=206&si Product Consultant Lane4 tesectiontitle=Commentateg

The Logic of Failure: Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations (Perseus) Dietrict Dörner “This book provides example after example of real situations where well-meaning decisions made things worse because of a failure to understand the complexity of systems. My favourite section is where Professor Dörner reminds us that all solutions are conditional and when we think we have discovered universally applicable solutions (Golden Rules) it is only because we have forgotten this fact. Something that works (or doesn’t work) in one context will not necessarily be the same in another.” Ken Thompson Bioteams and Lane4 Associate How To Coach A Woman (Crown House) Lynette Allen and Meg Reid “I’m always a little sceptical about books like this and, having read it, I’m not convinced about the need to coach women differently. That said, I do believe that the skill of great coaching is to adapt your style depending on the individual you are working with. Using this lens, I found the book to be very useful, providing some handy tools and great examples of coaching conversations to learn from. Tara Jones Principal Consultant Lane4

Lane4 Management Group Ltd St Marks House Station Road Bourne End Buckinghamshire SL8 5QF United Kingdom t +44 (0)1628 533 733 f +44 (0)1628 533 766 twitter @Lane4Group

Making the most of your talent Lane4 helps organisations gain competitive advantage by making the most of talent at every level. Measurement and feedback is critical to making effective decisions, whether it’s who to select into a role, how to create succession plans or what to focus on for personal development. Our unique approach to talent assessment and development goes beyond current and past achievement to focus on potential. We help organisations to not only identify and develop talent, but also enable people to fulfil their potential and avoid derailment along the way.

What specific issues and challenges do we help to address? Examples include: • Determining what potential looks like for your business • Helping people transition from management to senior leadership roles • Identifying whether you have the right talent in place for future success • Ensuring a consistent talent management process • Creating a learning culture

For more information please contact our Client Relationship Consultant Fran Nash on or call +44 (0)1628 533733

Turning pressure into a positive… At Lane4 we are experts in helping leaders to thrive under pressure and bounce back following adversity. Our unique approach to personal resilience is underpinned by performance psychology research in business and sport. We also offer a range of diagnostic tools, helping people to reflect on their experience of pressure and identify their strengths and development areas.

What specific issues and challenges do we help to address?

Examples include: • Staying resilient and maintaining performance levels through change • Thriving within a tough working environment • Coping with increased workloads following redundancies or a re-structure • Eliminating sickness absence due to stress Our personal resilience programmes can either be delivered as a stand alone or as part of a broader leadership programme. Our interventions can be adapted to leaders at all levels within your organisation.

For more information please contact our Client Relationship Consultant Fran Nash on or call +44 (0)1628 533733

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Lane4 Wave  

Lane4 October 2012 issue 4

Lane4 Wave  

Lane4 October 2012 issue 4

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