Former international rower, Murray Eldridge provided local business leaders with valuable insight into leadership after years of sports coaching.
Speaking at a Heritage Insurance-sponsored breakfast seminar, in association with the Guernsey Sports Commission, in the Garenne Stand at Footes Lane, Mr Eldridge linked the focus, drive and ambition needed in sports coaching to the leadership skills needed in business.
Mr Eldridge rowed for Great Britain at Junior World Championship level and won at Henley and national competitions. As an international businessman he has worked globally including Singapore, China and UK in the oil and gas, telecoms and the water sectors. He is also a qualified British Rowing coach in his spare time.
Mr Eldridge gave the audience a number of key tools taken from his book Leading High Performance: Applying the Winning Principles of Sports Coaching in Your Organisation.
He emphasised that companies could learn from two common traits of a sports coach – welcoming competition and valuing their athletes.
Throughout the seminar he made comparisons between athletes of a particular sport and “followers” of a business leader within their company.
Around 45 businessmen and women from both the public and private sector were provided with industry insight into the importance of fostering and nurturing high performance by way of making the right informed decisions.
One prevalent idea was to focus on what followers and athletes alike need to succeed; a sense of belonging, excitement in what they do and a belief in what they are looking to achieve.
Mr Eldridge noted that: “great coaches should not try to be great leaders but those who wish to be great leaders should learn to be great coaches.”
Richard Le Tocq, director of Heritage Insurance, said: “It was an invaluable morning for everyone. So many of the local business community also have a vested interest in sport on the island and it was our pleasure to bring over such a high ranking individual in both areas.
“I think the seminar successfully proved the case for a more holistic attitude to business and I hope everyone in attendance took something positive from it.”