Returning to Old Fashioned Ways to Prepare Future Leaders

Returning to Old Fashioned Ways to Prepare Future Leaders

At the end of this month we are delighted to launch a new company that will bring together many leading names from the world of sport and hospitality. The board will include International Rugby Players, Footballers, CEOs and MDs. The aim is to look at three core areas:


  • Organisational culture and values
  • Individual reinvention and coaching
  • Leadership and team development.

Our goal is to bring together a range of talents and perspective with all wanting to positively engage companies and talent.

One senior player noted to us “This is a touch old hat isn’t it?” and the answer is yes it is but it worked.

When one talks to senior players and asks them about their best time in their careers, they will often smile and think of a team and the people that they worked with. Very little is more important and effective than a strong team working together and supporting each other.  Culture used to be a common term but today few talk about culture and the investment in L&D has relatively declined.

The evidence is telling us clearly that the work environment is not engaging and inspiring talent. We can see record levels of stress and mental illness; of dissatisfaction with careers and employers; high levels of depression and the rise of a gig economy whereby talent is rejecting careers with one company.
And this is before we even start discussing Brexit.

The lights are flashing a bright red and there is a genuine need to work together to enthuse and inspire the young and talented. We do need to think differently but also look back to what has worked in previous times.

Hospitality is an exceptional industry with great people, great craft and exciting opportunities.  It is all our responsibility to ensure that we do develop younger talent and great sporting talent brings some exceptional skills and disciplines that set the tone. Jackie Stewart, the former Formula 1 World Champion used to talk of the importance of teams with F1. One badly fitted bolt could cause genuine harm. The level of professionalism had to be high or accidents could happen. The Saracens Rugby team argue that everyone within their culture from the kit man to the highest paid player are equal and have a voice that must be respected. They work at being one team. They also spend time outside of sport so that their mentality is more than just the game.

And of course there is the example of Richie McCaw who, as captain, would sweep the changing room floors.

People are inspired by such people and their approach to setting a high bar and striving to be the best. Arguably we need more such thinking within business but certainly more fun at work being injected into a very difficult environment.
Many of us will smile at the fun we have had in our careers and we were given every opportunity and support. Surely we need to give the same to today’s emerging talent and let them express themselves freely.

This is about principle, it is about good solid business sense. Hospitality relies on people. It is great service that creates memorable and profitable experiences in the main. Digitalization has become too dominant and we need to place people back at the front once again.

Talent is talent. Old, young or proven. We just need to make sure that they are striving to be best in their discipline and excited by the environment.

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