I always like sports and business analogies - there are many commonalities around achievement such as attitude, commitment and focus, and this is why this article about five sporting principles to create a winning team mindset resonated.
In many ways these five guidelines work particularly well when training for media interviews. We talk about being clear, telling a story, keeping it simple and being prepared so that when you are in the heat of the moment in the interview, the rational part of your brain takes over rather than your instinctive and emotional brain.
But the main lesson we always try to get across is to encourage business leaders to think about their audience and to describe their business in a way that resonates, in a way that paints a picture and is not clothed in jargon.
In this example Seb Coe's father found a way to really communicate the instruction he was giving. We guide our clients, particularly in a broadcast interview, to think of an aged relative. Would their grandmother understand them? and I think in the case of this quote, I think grandma would get 'smelling armpits'!!!
The former US secretary of state, Colin Powell once asserted that, “If you can’t explain what you are doing to your mother, maybe you don’t really understand it.” Great leaders are able to explain themselves in clear, understandable language. In 1980, Peter Coe once advised his son, Sebastian that he had to maintain contact with the athletes at the front of the 1500 metres final. He told him, “You sit so tight into that action you can smell Steve Ovett’s armpits.” He knew that speaking in practical terms is the only way to ensure that our ideas will mean the same thing to everyone listening.