Winning the Davis Cup was a tremendous accolade for Andy Murray this week. Having ended a 76-year wait for a British male to win the US Open, a 77-year wait for a Briton to win Wimbledon, a 79-year wait for Britain to win the Davis Cup and a 104-year wait for somebody from these parts to win an Olympic tennis gold, Murray is rapidly constructing enough memories for a one-man museum.
If you are like me you look enviously at his play, wondering how on earth anyone could ever return one of his serves. Surely he must have been born with that talent?
Not so according to Matthew Sayed our keynote speaker at CCA Convention last week. His argument; well known to those who have read his best seller Bounce, is that it’s hard work diffused with the correct opportunities and conditions; facilities and coaches that make stars like Andy Murray and David Beckham shine out.
This seems contradictory to our X-Factor culture where we see instant success and believe that some of us ‘just have it’. Sayed argues persuasively that this belief in talent above hard work is destructive in sport and business alike.
He cites the increase in football academies and the rapid elevation of young players to ‘stars’ after initial scouting as being totally counter productive to fostering their ambition to working hard and continuing to improve.
The same could be said for talent pools and fast tracking in the business world; controversial initiatives which need to be managed carefully according to Sayed. The problem with our view of success is that we rarely see all the failure and endless hard work which so often pre-empts it.
Mathew Sayed’s sentiments were also those of Emma Bell who led the leadership stream at the CCA One Day MBA in Customer Experience.
Emma provided extensive evidence that we get what we believe; in other words if we have preconceived beliefs about colleagues or students, we will inevitably get the results we expect.
Both of these contributors provided really new and exciting strategies for organisations seeking to provide environments where colleagues can thrive. Fresh thinking and debunking myths were the order of the day and we have a really exciting leadership stream lined up for the CCA agenda in 2016.
Despite all of this I honestly don’t think I could return those serves – but armed with this new information I’m up for the challenge! Anyone for tennis?
This article was originally posted here.