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Help Me, I'm only Human

Super Individual Talent is rare as are the people with the right skills to manage them.


I've had the good fortune to work with the top end of both sporting and business talent and what I have learnt is the charteristics that the superstar in the Sport & Corporate world are one of the same.

The fragilities that often cause our athletes to suddenly doubt their abilities are also creating havoc with the best of our corporate talent. Loss of confidence, loss of motivation, loss of purpose and paralysing anxiety is a common place on the sporting field as they are in the board rooms. These feelings of doubt are not mutually exclusive and the best of the best can often experience the lows more acutely than us mere mortals. When this occurs they need the coach/boss to bring them back to their world champion form. This is easier said than done!!

For the high performer the extremes of the highs are euphoric however, the lows can be soul destroying and you only need to look at likes of Alex Fasolo, Greg Ingles and Buddy Franklin who all have experienced mental health issues that has pushed them to the sidelines. Let me assure you that our high achieving corporates are dealing with the very same mental health issues but it just doesn't make our headlines stories.

The ability of the coach/boss to identify the early signs of a performance drop is critical and failure to recognise the onset of a performance slump can be mentally harmful for the individual and impact on the business or team they are representing. Ultimately this can be the difference in game being won or sales budgets/project dealine being met.

WHY well as much as I'm a big believer in a collaborate efforts, it is often the superstar's performance can be the factor between winning and losing.

So how do the best people coach's/boss's work their magic? and is it a learnt skill?

You only have to go down to the local book shop to find a mind boggling amount of literature on the theory of best practice management.

I don't for a second believe that I have anywhere near the answers of high performance management. In fact I'm continually adapting my personal management style to try and keep ahead of my clients needs. A baby boomer managing mostly millenniums is not without its challenges. That said I do 100% believe in some basic fundamentals that our most talented coach/ bosses are blessed with Trust, Empathy- Respect, Empowerment and Brutal Honesty are all a prerequisite within our leading coach's/boss's kit bag.

I asked four proven people mangers to provide thier view on High Performance management.

Michael Bohl OAM 2016 Swimming Australia Coach of the year

Michael Bohl has been a stalwart on the Australian coaching team at Olympic and World Championship levels, his impact on Olympic and World Champions such as Stephanie Rice, Mitch Larkin, Emma McKeon and Bronte Barrett has been profound

"Communication is the key.

Coaches and athletes must have an open line of communication and they also must be on the same page in relation to standards.It is not good enough having high standards and expectations at the major competitions but give an average to low standard in the months leading up to the major competitions.The relationship must be strong enough to allow the coach/athlete to be honest with each other in their assessment of where they are at. Compromise is the cancer of all achievement.If short cuts are taken you end up going round in circles.

The preparation must be world class to expect to get world-class result."

Tiffany Murray - CEO Dress for Success Tiffany is the creator and owner of the business sensation Dress for Success, Australia's largest home styling business.Tiffany is one of Australia's leading entrepreneurs and business women.

" Sometimes even your best people need a reboot. With my team I am frank..I check that all is ok with personal life first, just by asking this they know I care and offering help where possible if there is an issue.I ask how I can help them achieve their goals,I ask what they believe can be achieveand then I make them own it. I provide a leaning post by daily contact of support to achieve the goal. "

Natalie Lockwood - Head of Client Relationship Management - VISA

Natalie is a senior executive with deep experience and successful track record in developing high performance teams and leading large dispersed regional teams.She has held leadership roles with Citibank, MasterCard, Edge Asia and ASX

"In the corporate world leadership requires more EQ than IQ. Leaders of high performing teams need to be authentic, empathetic, encouraging and most importantly, intuitive. The emotional fitness of my team is a priority to ensure individuals continue to achieve at their sustainable best. That team members have emotional and mental resilience to handle stressful, difficult and demanding times and can bounce back from set-backs or disappointments. In order to see the early warning signs of poor performance or someone struggling, it's important to be a good listener and be a keen observer of human behaviour. I watch how their energy is being managed and when I see their enthusiasm, energy and attitude start to wane that I realise they are struggling. I watch how they engage with others and watch for any signs of health issues too. Open, honest and constructive conversations about these warning signs is crucial to create self-awareness and tackle issues before they become problems."

Roselee Jencke OAM - Firebirds Head Coach

Roselee was the 2016 Most Successful Coach in the ANZ Championship with a winning percentage of 72%, she has coached the QLD Firbirds to Grand Final runners up in both 2013 and 2014 and Grand Final wins in 2015 and 2016

"Relationships open and honest communication and trust are key ingredients.Elite athletes have this capacity to push themselves further, however they also need to feel empowered to know that it is OK to feel less than 'perfect' and that it is more value to do less than more to improve performance. Checking in with your athlete's regularly, face to face, as well as performance staff to pick up signs of physical or mental fatigue allow decisions on the wellbeing of the athlete and early interventions to be made."

When times are tough our Sporting and Business superstars need to be given the confidence and more importantly the framework to bring them back to high performance. The coach and bosses that keep them firing are truly the conductors to the Gold Medal performance.

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