'Embrace differences', says Tom Daley at #SINextGen Unlocked

02 Feb 2018

By: Sport Industry Group

Tom Daley laid down a challenge for the Sport Industry NextGen Leaders, and the wider sport industry, to collaborate with others and embrace differences at Sport Industry NextGen Unlocked.

Speaking with host Radha Balani, triple world champion Tom Daley said: “Embrace other people’s differences, because someone who is completely different to you will have so many different experiences. Collaborate with them from a different angle – regardless of sexual orientation, gender, age, race, religion. All those different perspectives can help create a much bigger and brighter idea than just one person in isolation.

“When you walk into a room of people you don’t know, be brave enough not to judge anyone, not to see someone that is different and not want to work with them."

The 23-year-old also discussed his 12 year career as a professional diver, leading a young squad as a mentor and peer to up-and-coming talent in the sport, Daley added “I’m not that much older than them, I just started earlier. It’s not about telling them what to do, they’re great athletes in their own right. What I can do for them is make sure I’m in the best physical and mental shape, and lead by example.”

Looking back, the Olympic medallist also admitted he wished he had been able to take advantage of the advances in sport science. “What I focus on now more than ever is paying attention to the smallest details, as they're the details - that 1% - that make the biggest difference, and the science is there to help with that now,” added Daley.
Sport Industry NextGen in partnership with Barclays identifies tomorrow’s leaders, rewards their potential and nurtures their talent.

Earlier in the evening, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, David Grevemberg and Team GB hockey Olympic champion, Helen Richardson-Walsh, discussed how leadership landscape in sport has changed, in conversation with chairman of Sport Industry Group, Nick Keller.

Grevemberg, who will deliver the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in April before the competition returns to the UK in Birmingham in 2022, offered his leadership advice to the 200 attendees. “You have as much to learn as you have to contribute. Every day is a school day and if it isn't you're doing it wrong,” said the CEO. “Leading sometimes requires a daring change, so don’t be afraid to raise the bar and change the game.”

Richardson-Walsh, part of one of the stand-out moments of Rio 2016, claiming hockey gold alongside her wife, Kate, recalled how the team from different backgrounds pulled together for one goal. “We all agreed the competition was bigger than ourselves, because of where we were, and our values and behaviours had to be the things that would make the difference. It became the norm, it became habit, to the point that when it got to an Olympic final, there was no pressure, we didn’t have to worry about others. You can’t lead others until you know yourself.”

The 2018 Sport Industry NextGen Leaders were welcomed on stage, introducing them as a group for the first time. The latest group of 30 comprise of Leaders from a range of organisations including adidas, British Triathlon, BT Sport, ECB, EFL, Google, Manchester United, NBA, NFL, Nike, Octagon, Sony, Surrey County Cricket Club, Yahoo and more.

Representing the 2017 Sport Industry NextGen Leaders, Nishal Desai, co-founder, imin; Gemma Davies, head of operations & project management, Engage Digital Partners and Heather Smith, senior innovation manager, Women in Sport, all reflected on their year’s Leadership Package, as part of the programme, as well as offered their advice to the 2018 group.

Earlier on in the day, the 2018 Sport Industry NextGen Leaders took part in a Development Afternoon, meeting each other as a group for the first time. Under the watchful eyes of the Sport Industry NextGen Coaches, the Leaders discussed the history of leadership, what it means to them, and pressing matters in the industry – such as improving creativity, embracing the use of data, and promoting the diversity and inclusion agenda. They also heard from writer, communicator and strategist, Alastair Campbell on how to expertly communicate in 90 seconds before doing their own 90 second presentations.

The Leadership Package includes experiences, coaching and training throughout the year to help develop their potential, with contributions from the likes of Barclays, Howard Kennedy, Loughborough University London, Inspirational Development Group, Inspired Leaders Network and the Sport Industry Breakfast Club.

Sport Industry NextGen is backed by Barclays who return as headline partner for a third year.

In addition to Barclays, Sport Industry NextGen is also supported by Official Partners Howard Kennedy and Loughborough University London, and Leadership Package Partner, Inspirational Development Group.

For further details click here, and follow @SportIndustry #SINextGen.