Sir Clive Woodward OBE speaks at our launch event: Customer Strategy & Leadership

On the 23rd June 2015 a select group of senior professionals attended the launch event of the Strategy and Leadership Forum in London. The highlight of the evening was the keynote address by Sir Clive Woodward OBE highlighting the DNA of a Champion. Perhaps the most insightful element was the focus of the ability to learn, to adsorb information and develop. Asking the question are you a ROCK or a SPONGE.

The suggestion that great teams are made of talented individuals and that once we have created a shared goal or purpose we should move on to focus on our coaching and development of the individuals and their specific needs. Talent alone though is not enough. Talent is a starting position not a finishing position. You need everybody in your teams to be a sponge, there is no room for rocks. Being a sponge is about having a passion for your subject – whatever that may be and an openness and desire to learn.

Look around your team – who are the sponges, who are the rocks? The sponges are passionate about their subject, about the goal or purpose and most importantly they want to learn, to develop new skills and understanding. The rocks are not, they believe they already know everything they need to know. Identify your sponges, work with them, give them support, give them the tools to self-develop, give them opportunities. 

It is easy for a sponge over time to become a rock, watch out for this. Identify your rocks, work with them to re-ignite their passion and desire to learn and develop, get them back to being a sponge. If they can’t or they won’t go on that journey it’s time for them to move on and find something they can be passionate about again. To restart as a sponge.



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