Speakers Corner Looks at Sport in 2014


2014 looks set to be a great year for sport; Speakers Corner will be keeping an eye on the main events such as the Football World Cup, the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup. However we can’t forget about our annual favourites including the Six Nations Rugby Tournament, Wimbledon, the British Open and the Tour de France.

The World Cup will take place in Rio and will run from the June 12th to July 13th; this will be followed by the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow running from the 23rd of July to the 3rd of August. The Ryder Cup will also be taking place in Scotland at Gleneagles golf course from the 23rd to the 28th of September.

Sport now plays a vital role in the way that we look at business and it can be a useful comparative for business leaders, many of our favourite speakers are former professional athletes who have found ways to relate their sport to business models.

Speakers Corner asked motivational speaker and former NBA player, John Amaechi to comment on the links between business and sport, an all too familiar subject for him.  John stated...

Sport doesn't have all the answers for business and sometimes people who try to extrapolate best practice fail through a hackneyed understanding of sport and the use of generic platitudes. 

Sometimes when we see the daily chaos in sport we can doubt that it can teach us anything about anything!  However, what I have found is that despite the distractions and let-downs we read about in the media, the pursuit of excellence in sport can teach us lessons in almost every area of life, not least of which are strategies and techniques conducive to personal and organisational success in a hostile, competitive and at times tumultuous business climate.

Whether we are talking about creating a culture and climate that demands excellence, the formation and maintenance of a diverse, high-performing team or the process of identifying and nurturing latent talent there is best practice to be shared from the elite sporting experience.

Sport is one of the few places in life where the business-critical challenges of our time are brought into clear focus in a way we can all recognise. We watch sport and instantly understand the notion performing on cue in the face of extreme stress.  We gain some insight into the lengthy, onerous and often invisible preparation undertaken, just for the chance at the briefest of highly public tests, and at the end of a contest we are chastened by the reality of winning or losing being an issue of a fraction of time or a lost moment of optimal concentration.

It is for these reasons that I chose to use some of my experiences and techniques from my time in elite sport to highlight the challenges to, and the techniques for success that can prepare us for a more high-performing business life.”

Speakers Corner has a host of speakers who can relate sport to business including Lord Sebastian Coe, Greg Searle, Will Greenwood, Ellen MacArthur and Debra Searle. To see more click here.

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