To quote Baz Luhrmann (and of course stolen by us in our Everyone’s free video) “sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Over the next 20 weeks, we are going to feature some interviews with Steve Backley and Roger Black, who as many of you know were two of Britain’s top athletes in the 90s and early noughties.

I first met Steve a couple of months after his retirement from athletics in 2004. “You’ll have to visit me” he said “I can’t drive at the moment, as I’ve just had my hip replaced”.

It turned out that Steve had been holding off sorting out a longstanding injury until the 2004 Olympics were over and was now (literally) putting his feet up whilst working on a new career.

Being stuck in your house for weeks on end without being able to get out and about as you had usually been able to. It’s hard to imagine what that must have felt like. Well obviously it was at the time…..

“Will we be seeing you in the jungle some time soon?” I asked him in that first meeting. “Actually, my main aim is to avoid visiting the jungle” was Steve’s reply!

Most of us will never experience a complete overnight change of career. Our careers and business lives evolve and change but there is rarely the sort of cessation of one career and the start of another that is experienced by sports men and women who usually retire in their thirties.

Of course, such a divide between the end of one career and the start of another is an opportunity for some thinking time, re-charge the batteries, replace a hip or two and commit to success in a new arena.

In fact, perhaps the most significant break that most people will have had is that experienced in the first lockdown of 2020 when many businesses ground to a halt.

Whilst some have been able to seamlessly start again in the same way as before with a bit of social distancing and PPE thrown in alongside the odd rant about whoever you blame for the chaos of this year, many businesses have had to re-think their approach to their entire work flow and income streams.

Early on in the pandemic my Friday night email focussed on lessons that could be learned from the Seven Habits of highly effective people and in particular Sharpening the Saw. I know those months were the first opportunity many of you had in years to step back and look at the business you have created, your relationships with those in it and the contribution it makes to your life.

We have seen more new businesses start up, partnership changes and changes in direction of the business which weren’t just forced on the owner by the pandemic.

Whilst we hear so much about mental health and the huge challenges the pandemic has wreaked on much of the population, there is much less reporting about the mental strength demonstrated by thousands of owner-managers who have taken the opportunity to re-engage with the strategic direction that they want their business to take. This “re-start” has given us an opportunity to commit to future success in a way that maybe we haven’t been able to do for a while.

“Committing to success” is the subject of the first stage of the Mindsetting programme, a year-long series of powerful stages designed to maximise the performance of you and your business designed by Steve, Roger and their team at BackleyBlack. Usually only available to executives and senior staff in the large corporate organisations they work with, BackleyBlack have now created a competitively priced package for clients and staff of A4G which you can see on our website.

As a very small taster, I’ve asked Steve and Roger about what Committing to Success means to them and examples from their career. To access the five-minute video, click here or watch it below.

In meantime, I hope this week’s positive news about a vaccine has given you the impetus to re-commit to your own success.

Have a good weekend.

Committing to Success

Interview with Steve Backley and Roger Black 

Contact me today!

Malcolm Palmer


Managing Partner

01474 853856

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