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A lookback over the year can often evoke those “Did we really achieve that?” thoughts, and some of the Leading Edge highlights of 2018 certainly fall into that category. Fantastic clients, amazing opportunities, powerful moments, growing relationships – all wrapped up in our strong belief, or you might say, mantra, that “If it matters to you, it matters to us”.
What’s so important to Leading Edge is keeping working harder, across all roles in Team Green, to really understand what matters to each one of our clients and to make sure that when we’re doing something that works well for them, we keep doing it. And that we keep challenging ourselves to do it better, and across different clients.
A new collaboration
One memorable story is our journey with the British Olympic Association (BOA). Through this, we have taken our interest in and love of learning of how high-performance sport translates into business up a level to a place where we feel we’re proudly becoming synonymous with sport. I had a conversation with BOA Chief Executive Bill Sweeney at a rugby event and from this initial discussion, we have started a journey of collaboration to create learning and development modules for the BOA. We also hosted an evening discussion on high-performance culture at the British Olympic Association’s prestigious offices – home of Team GB. This has been massive for us and we’re proud and excited about where this collaboration will go.
Still in sport and another powerful moment for me personally this year was working with England Rugby’s next generation at a homeless shelter as part of their character development. To have the opportunity to help create awareness and form opinions among these young men on such a complex issue felt very special. These players will go on to become big influencers in sport and in their communities.
We’re proud to support a homeless charity local to our Leamington Spa office – Helping Hands – with things we know we do well to help them do what they do well. We created a team journey for them, giving them exactly the same spec and standards as we give to a global client. Homelessness matters deeply to them, and it matters to us to give the charity the high-level treatment they deserve.
For another standout moment, I was in New York supporting a team development activity with Kind – a brand that’s new to Mars and an exciting venture into the healthy snack market for them. Leading Edge has worked with Mars for nearly a decade and this market is important to them. They have a great team on board and I was proud to be there at the beginning.
Team Coaches in every corner of the globe
My thoughts on the year aren’t intentionally USA-themed! But seeing our Team Coaches at work in San Francisco for Levi’s a few times this year also needs a mention. Supporting Levi’s at a global level really stands out as a marker of how our well-established partnership in Europe has grown. (That’s the USA talked about… but I can’t possibly pick out highlights from all countries: Leading Edge Team Coaches have supported clients in over 20 countries this year!)
Back to Levi’s and it’s great when I visit them and hear how natural the Highly Effective Teams language has become – even with newly formed teams yet to go on the team journey. It shows the importance of great leadership. The World Cup this summer got people talking about leadership thanks to Gareth Southgate’s honest style in a very visible leadership role. His approach challenged a lot of perceptions that existed in a broad swathe of the UK population and people couldn’t stop talking about the trust he showed in the players and how he leads by example (and his waistcoat!).
Our belief that “If it matters to you, it matters to us” truly guides us and we use it a lot with clients – sometimes subtly, sometimes overtly to gain clarity and check that the path we started out on together is still the path that we should be going down. And we use our mantra bravely to open what might be difficult conversations. But this is how we make sure we do amazing things for clients, across business and sport, and how we continue as a big Team Green family to work hard and support our clients in the best way possible.
What definitely mattered hugely to Michaela and me earlier this month was to get the brilliant Team Green together for a day of sharing and learning and an evening of celebrating another fantastic year! Our Christmas dos are legendary, and this was no exception: 28 of us, all dressed head to toe in various green themes – all individual, but collectively Team Green!
Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!