At the dinner table

LBO Sept 2016

A common feature in some newspapers and magazines is the celebrity questionnaire. Who do you most admire? What is your most extravagant luxury?  What trait in yourself do you most dislike?

“Which three people would you most like to have dinner with?” is a particularly intriguing question and not an easy one to narrow down.

The end of the Summer term traditionally coincides with the climax of the Tour de France – one of the great sporting events. In case you didn’t follow the Tour this year it was won again quite magnificently by British cyclist Chris Froome riding for Team Sky.  The team is managed by Sir Dave Brailsford, a seriously successful coach.  Sir Dave would be in my prandial line-up.

He spoke about the challenge of managing a team of cyclists with entourage for several weeks and the logistics of moving base daily.  Asked about the team and Froome’s success Brailsford listed three principles at the heart of this Summer’s success in France.

First, be positive, no moaning. Second, be proactive, not passive.  Third, if the problem is with a team-mate, address it immediately and directly.

This advice seems applicable beyond competitive cycling to other walks of life also, including a staff team in school. There are few situations I can call to mind that would not have been helped had those involved followed Brailsford’s guiding rules.

Unless directed at a specific problem that is fixable, moaning or complaining is certainly unhelpful and can create an atmosphere that only brings other people down too.

Stepping forward to embrace the world and being on the front foot to nip problems in the bud is generally preferable to having to respond after the event.

Conflict between work colleagues needs to be resolved quickly with the focus on the issue at hand. Left unresolved, the actual issues get lost and the personalities take over making resolution far more difficult.

I will leave you guessing as to who will be joining Dave and me at the dinner table but I look forward to introducing you in a future column.



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