Foundation Event Identifies Leadership Lessons from the Rio Olympics

Foundation Event Identifies Leadership Lessons from the Rio Olympics

On 16th November, senior leaders attended the 20th First Ascent Foundation Event and diagnosed salient leadership lessons from the Rio Olympics to take into the next four years.

Delegates from across the sport, corporate, public and charity sectors came together at Horsley Park, Surrey to discuss the topic and hear excellent guest speakers from UK Sport and Badminton England reflect on Rio and share their lessons learnt.

Charlotte Edward, Performance Director Developer at UK Sport highlighted the importance of the clear and focused vision that UK Sport set itself to achieve at Rio and gave an insight into what they did to meet that target. Charlotte discussed tools and methods used to prepare Performance Directors and key relationships within GB teams for the high-pressure environment of an away Olympic games.

Performance Director at Badminton England, Jon Austin, built on the themes of preparing for pressure and investing in relationships, sharing a behind the scenes glimpse into some of the unexpected and uncontrollable situations faced by the GB teams in Rio. Jon also emphasised the need to reduce emotions at key pressure points and give yourself time in order to make a logical decision.

In several practical activities, led by First Ascent Directors David Sales and Steve Bentley, delegates honed their thoughts and ideas from the day into practical actions to take away and implement within their organisations.

Key outputs from the day included:

  • Develop people in a personal and bespoke way

  • Invest in relationships to prepare for the future

  • Take time to decide - big decisions shouldn't be rushed when emotions are high

  • Keep your vision simple, take pride in it, measure actions against it and constantly reinforce and remind your people about it

  • Prepare for pressure in advance and personalise it for each individual

Joanne Roberts, Head of Learning and Organisational Development at Isle of Man Government said:

"The day was thought-provoking and full of energy from the First Ascent team and delegates. The Foundation events are always also a great opportunity to network with like-minded people."

The First Ascent Foundation is a not-for-profit initiative that brings senior leaders together several times a year in a relaxed and creative environment. It provides a dynamic forum for attendees to share experiences and discuss the latest ideas and solutions around a contemporary leadership subject. Find out more about upcoming Foundation Events.


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