CEO Today - January 2023

business or industry the longest should be encouraged to guide and mentor those just entering the industry. It doesn’t have to be a formal mentoring program, although the structure can support personalised development plans. Similarly, those just stepping up could bring new, innovative approaches which could be weaved into current practices through reverse mentoring. Put humans first Results matter in business and sport, but people come first. Before England’s Round-of-16 tie against Senegal, it was announced that Raheem Sterling would not be available for the game. It later came to light that he flew home to be with his family after an armed robbery at his home. When pressed on whether Sterling would be returning, England Coach Gareth Southgate was fully behind Sterling’s decision to return to the UK. He demonstrated his commitment to player wellbeing saying he gives Sterling “as much time as he needs”. Luke Shaw also shared that his Grandmother had passed away before England’s first game and Southgate offered him the opportunity to take time away but Shaw opted to continue with the team. The pandemic and the current costof-living crisis have demonstrated the need for businesses to put humans first. We are all dealing with unique circumstances that impact our whole selves, including our ability to work. Managers and leaders should have flexibility, empathy and understanding to support team members through personal challenges. Learn new tricks - nimble Davids can beat Goliaths The World Cup is famous for its shocking and unexpected results. In the group stages, we saw Saudi Arabia stun Argentina and Japan beat both Germany and Spain 2-1.Morocco reached the semifinals for the first time in the country’s history. It’s a clear example that with a nimble approach that is able to adapt to the working style of each competitor, smaller teams can overcome the giants in the footballing world. This is true in the corporate space. Startups that embrace ‘grown-up thinking’, learn from the mistakes of those before them and embrace new tactics can surge past their competitors. Control what you can control On the flip side of these unexpected wins, there is a top-rated team with high expectations that will feel like they let themselves, their fans and their country down. These feelings can quickly impede future success and personal progress too. As much as you might be highly favoured, you ultimately cannot control what the other team does on the day. In business, your customers, stakeholders, partners, and investors can go against you on any given day no matter how much preparation or crisis mitigation you do. Focus on what you can control, rather than being consumed by what you can’t, like competitor actions or wider economic forces. You are the only one in control of your personal performance. The choices you make should be to empower this position, not ones based on the actions of others. Business leaders can create an environment where preparation and excellence are celebrated, not results outside your control. Conclusion Sport has plenty of inspiring stories and transferrable insights that can be applied in business. These lessons from sport can be powerful catalysts for change in your business. But don’t just leave it here. Invite people involved in elite sports into your business. Bring them in to share their inspirational stories with your teams — not just on keynote speeches and hosting clients. Invite them to the boardroom to facilitate, brainstorm, and inspire on business-specific issues like DEI, high performance and product innovation. Involve them in focus groups, ask them to be part of your advisory team, and allow them to mentor your highfliers. You never know what solutions you could uncover by bringing elite talent from the world of sport into your inner circle. THE DISRUPTORS About the Author Christy Kulasingam is an experienced business strategist and founder of In•Side•Edge. A portfolio entrepreneur, he was born and raised in Sri Lanka until 18 years old, Christy then moved to the US where he achieved a double major in Computer Science and Economics, which fuelled his curiosity for marrying the two subjects in business. After a successful 14-year consulting career with Andersen and Deloitte, Christy founded Radbourne Consulting in 2009, where he delivers strategic business advice to blue chips, scaling businesses, entrepreneurs, and investors. Christy also brings hands-on operational experience as the founder of multiple ventures and as an interim executive. His most recent venture is In•Side•Edge, a boutique consultancy and innovation studio that helps businesses tap into the world-class insights of sporting elites. More information can be found at 33

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy Mjk3Mzkz