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Zero hours contracts – a dark place for motivation

All the talk of zero hours contracts during the election campaign focused on the two predictable sides of the debate.

Businesses need them so they can remain flexible and competitive in uncertain times (though it’s unclear when business will think times are certain and that even if they did, whether they’d then stop using them). It’s argued that these contracts create jobs that otherwise wouldn’t exist. (Not quite sure about that, as presumably these jobs exist to meet demand, not create it).

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The clue is in the name

As someone who helps lead a team of human performance experts working with some great people and organisations in elite sport and the business world around the globe, I really care about it and I really believe it matters and can make a massive difference to those who are prepared to do what’s necessary to get high performance in their particular role in their particular arena.

Doing what’s necessary. So simple, so important, so hard. High performance requires hard work, focus, discipline, sacrifice, the risk of failure and the postponement of immediate gratification. The concepts are easy, the application of them isn’t. That’s why high performers are not typical and not “normal”, where normal is seen through the lens of a bell-shaped curve. High performers know that their place is away from the average, away from normal, seeing how far away from normal they can get.

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Adversity

Some performance reflections from our CEO…

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”, said Mike Tyson and I think there’s a lot of truth in that. I’m not saying plans don’t matter; they do if you’re serious about being well prepared. Tyson’s quote says two things to me – expect adversity and make sure your plan takes into account the likelihood that things won’t work out how you’d like them to.

A few weeks ago I was in South Africa for what was planned to be my 9th Ironman. I had trained well and – where appropriately – hard, during the winter and I was really excited about doing this iconic event in another continent on a fantastic course.

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Resurrection

As Easter is upon us, it’s maybe appropriate to write something about coming back from the dead! In the world of performance at work, literally coming back from the dead is highly unusual, however in a demanding and competitive world, having to deal with setback, disappointment and adversity is commonplace. When you do need to do this, “bouncebackability”, resilience and confidence are vital ingredients/factors/abilities that enable you to keep going and keep performaning through such a low point.

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The power of uniting goals – six nations rugby final day games

The final day of six nations rugby produced a thrilling finale and some amazing, attacking rugby (from all six teams). It also provided some insight into the enormous motivational and performance benefits of some clear, shared and uniting goals.

Clearly all three of the teams chasing the six nations title had the same overall outcome goals – to win the six nations title (and build for the world cup later this year). What the set up of the final day gave those three teams was a really clear focus on WHAT they needed to achieve (a win that put them top of the group on points difference by as much as possible) as well as HOW they need needed to play – with tactics that would firstly secure them a win and secondly an adventurous style of play that would allow them to score the points they needed.

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Knowing you in your world

England’s cricketers’ failure at the current World Cup is probably due to more than one cause, despite the media effort to pin it down to a single factor (the captain, the coach, the preparation, the overuse of statistics, the failure of the senior players, the selectors, etc, etc.).

One comment that caught our eye was Michael Vaughan’s (the ex England captain), that the coach was in the wrong role and is much better suited to being the coach to the England elite youth development players where his skills and experience are perfect for the job.

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Storytelling in Business

This blog post comes from Matt Beresford, a successful Theatre Director & Business Coach. We really enjoyed Matt’s piece so we’re delighted to have the opportunity to share it with you. Let us, and Matt know what you think.

Once upon a time

….four little words that instantly grab our attention. They make us listen – promising adventure, humour and a message.

As a theatre director I tell stories, using every resource at my disposal – actors, set, costume, lighting and sound – to make those stories compelling enough to keep an audience entertained and engaged. I want to make them think of course, but my primary aim is to have an emotional impact – to move them – perhaps to laughter, perhaps to tears. This emotional impact is what makes plays, movies, novels (not to mention sports events) more ‘sticky’ than much business communication that we see and hear.

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Encouraging responsibility

This blog post comes from Matthew Scott, one of our K2 Hall of Fame performers http://www.planetk2.com/hall-of-fame/ We love Matthew’s piece because it reflects something he’s very, very good at and is written by someone who’s “been there and done it”. Let us, and Matthew, know what you think.

Leadership: Helping Individuals & Teams find out how good they can be
by Matthew Scott

I still meet a surprising number of people who seem to believe that being a leader means “telling people what to do” or “making all the important decisions”.

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Charley and Sophie Radcliffe trail running above Montenvers, Chamonix.

Human Performance – not an “adults only” arena

Many of you know that I’m passionate that the opportunity and resources to be the best performer you can possibly be, the chance to be the best version of yourself as consistently as possible, should be available to everyone, not just people who are on a particular pay grade so their organisations are prepared to help them learn this stuff or just for those people who are rich enough to afford it for themselves.

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Senior succession planning – 5 top tips

We’re delighted that this blog post has been written by Chris Voller, Claims Director at AXA Insurance, sharing his personal expertise of senior succession planning. We love its honesty and practical nature.

Bringing Development for Succession to Life in a Corporate Environment – 5 top tips

Despite very best intentions, succession planning can often become a tick box exercise in the corporate world. Filling out the right forms and getting them into HR on time will normally be enough to keep you out of trouble.

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