How to create a high performance culture | Andrew Sillitoe | TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWells

Sharing buttons:

when I first heard I was will be

speaking at Ted was about six weeks ago

I immediately started typing my script

and it's been an obsession ever since

I don't know about the other speakers

but and I was saying to my wife

yesterday that it's not ready it just

doesn't feel right you know you know

something doesn't feel right don't worry

it'd be fine you know this was yesterday

right there's people in this room

thinking that's not what we rehearsed on

Wednesday and I said you don't get it

this is Ted if this goes viral its

career-defining I'll be the next simon

Sinek you know and then I realized that

I'd completely missed the point that I

forgot my purpose in this and so I'm

gonna flip the script I woke up I was my

bike this morning I'm gonna talk about

something different and I think we are

losing our purpose in society you know

purpose is about meaning in our life

it's about staying engaged and you know

when things are tough and it's about

connection and I'd lost that connection

with you is it become about me and not

you yeah so um I'm going to talk about

that for a bit I think whether you are

an athlete or a teacher or a parent or

running a business we cannot operate at

our full potential without purpose now I

was I was sharing this about six years

ago in Canary Wharf with a group of

traders now I'd tell you to picture the

room it's 2009 and they're just starting

their career in trading in the city okay

so the crisis just hit and I'm in there

I'm talking about purpose right and to

be fair time they were getting into it I

started to get the idea but there was

this chap in the corner my I threw out

whole session and he was just heckling

me throughout the day this wasn't

getting it in his words this is fluffy

bollocks and this continued in the

afternoon he said to me um he said

Andrew you've been talking about purpose

all day even talking about asking us why

we do what we do what gets us out of bed

every day he said what do you do what

what gets you out of bed you know why do

you do what you do what's your purpose

which is a fair question to ask the

person who's talking about purpose right

and I need the answer because I

reflected on it in the past and I said

to him do you remember the rocky films

do remember the Rocky films yeah Rocky v

Tommy Gunn I said that's the worst I

said I remember that film

I remember watching it it was a Sunday

night it was a it was 1993 March 21st I

mean watching that film and Sundays in

my house are pretty sad I woulda been

out all day playing street hockey I'd

have been at Safeway car parking tell me


I still call it safe ways I didn't

paying or dare to come home had a

roasting of my family and we'd watch

sport it have been cricket football golf

or snooker one of those for depend on

some a year and this tonight I was

watching my dad love sporty was a baker

my granddad was a baker and I always

expected the business to be mine but

when I was 11 my dad sold to business he

sold it so that was kind of the end of

that I still feel like a baker but he he

said to be fair to me made a lot of

money he moved into into construction

and we had this wonderful we made big

houses into materials we had this

wonderful big house and we had a you

know the fancy holidays two-port Avenue

you know all that kind of mob bayar you

know that nice stuff with this wonderful

e type jag blue etype jag it's to sit on

the drive but as quickly as he made all

his money lost a lot it was the mid 80s

and that's what happened in construction

lost it in our lives change like that

and on his Sunday night

he um he came to the door and I was

watching his film and he said to me I'm

going to bed come on keep it down a hug

and I said no no you've had a drink

he said come give me a hug I said no no

he went too but I didn't he went to bed

that was last time I saw him he died of

a heart attack aged 48 and I looked at

this guy and I said do you know that 20%

of people died in the early hours of a

Monday morning brought on by the stress

and anxiety and fear of facing work the

next day I said I don't want happened to

you or anybody that's why I do what I do

let's shut him up I feel blessed to live

in some beached whales actually cuz I

grew up playing street hockey in

somewhere else and I I got my first

stick when I was 9 and it changed my

life forever I was 9 years old I played

other sports but I think you know Paul

was talking about giving children

opportunity you know 80% of young people

young 14 year olds will become

disengaged with sport 80% because

they're looking for alternatives and we

don't we're not offering it but I was

lucky because I found street hockey and

I went on this extraordinary journey

with the Tunbridge Wells Street cruisers

and we would play all over Europe we

would drive out to Amsterdam Rotterdam

we'd go out to disord off and play in

these role hockey tournaments out there

out into the mountains of Switzerland we

even went off to Chicago to play in

Chicago we had an amazing we're never

very much money we have to save our

pennies in fact we used to go to Europe

we used to rent a transit van we used to

put our hockey bags in the back and put

mattresses on top so we'd go out and

that would be our accommodation for the

weekend and we were the first team

believe it or not the first time as

Royal Street cruisers was the first team

in 95 to switch from traditional roller

skates rollerblade you know courts to


the blades because we thought it would

give us a competitive advantage it was a

disaster but what happened is that we

you know people thought it was hilarious

because the first taunt we played and we

came last and this was in Switzerland

and he one thought we were crazy for

doing it they could understand why we'd

made this this transition until of

course we started winning and in 98 the

talmud royal street cruisers beat the

düsseldorf rams in the final of the

championship now if you speak to the

team and say you know tell me about your

experience it's very rare that they'll

talk about the winning you know winning

is great it's it's a wonderful feeling

winning but if you ask them they'll talk

about the sacrifice they'll talk about

the road trips obviously I can't tell

you the stories because you know the

rules they'll talk about the fact that

we owned it that we shaped it it was

ours we'd have a coach or a manager

telling us where to be what to do it was

all self directed by us and the

following 10-15 years I played in 12

World Championships for Team Great

Britain at inline hockey I played I was

turned from America playing and and in

2010 I took on the head coaching job for

Team Great Britain and I'd acquired a

team that had lost in the quarterfinals

of Paul be in the World Championships

Paul bearer's is essentially like

divisions too and Paul a is that the top

eight countries in the world so sweet

and Czech Republic Canada USA etc the

top I sake countries that come across

and so I noticed that they'd become a

bit disengaged with playing for their

country having lost to Australia and the

quarterfinals the other 14 Paul B so I

was going to go in there you know all

guns blazing as head coach and I was

going to create the exact the same

culture as I might experience with the

temperature street cruisers the problem

is you cannot take one culture and put

it on another it just doesn't work right

and that was my experience so I had to

rethink what I was doing with the team

and and think about putting a different

set of rules in and these are the five

rules I'm going to share with you that I

put in place but for me have helped

create an environment where everybody

can absolutely thrive and I think we all

have a responsibility to create that

type of type of environment so the first

thing first thing we did with it

with the deep Team GB is that they

needed their own story they needed their

own story not one that I was trying to

force um our story happened over ten

years it was organic you can't just

recreate that but I had nine months

before the world chairmanships and their

story what they came up with was that

they wanted to look act and feel like a

pull a team to look acting for not to

win the gold medal in Pool B but to look

act and feel that was their vision for

the team now I couldn't go in and say

well if you want that you need to eat

better you need to train harder because

you still get resistance so I promised

myself that I would not tell them to do

anything and I would just ask them if

that's what you want too cheap I would

just asked in the questions there were

some things I had to to put in place

around strategy and how we play the game

but I wanted them to come forward of

everything for them to thrive and really

own it

like we had the other thing is I wanted

the creators in the team in team Great

Britain I didn't want to I didn't want

fun followers are good for the ego

they're not good for business right

they're not good for sustaining change

they're not good for creating high high

performance culture so I wanted to

create leaders and that's my cat so I

say to be unity captain you need your

assistant captains out there you need

people who can influence change and we

need to change the other thing is I

promised that we would embrace failure

absolutely embrace it because what I

could see was a group of players who

were paralyzed by the fear of failure

and it was prevents them from playing at

their full potential so we we said we'll

embrace it embrace the unknown and when

the street crews have switched to

rollerblades it was a failure but we

came back stronger me ended up winning

and you know when you take a risk it's

gonna go one of two ways isn't it you

can have it's going to be a really good

experience and you learn from it or it

might mean knots a great experience and

you learn from it right so either way

it's a bonus the other thing is if you

can do all

of that then we could hold each other

accountable we could look each other in

the eye and feel absolutely trusted that

we would do what we said we would do now

the problems I'm seeing which is driving

disengagement is that I see it in

education I see it in businesses is that

we are focused on that holding people

accountable businesses are getting

better and the reason why they're

getting better because they realize it

if you engage people if you help them

find their purpose it means they're more

productive they will be more engaged and

that means more profit organizations

like that in sports we're seeing

athletes as a commodity which is driving

personal greed and corporate greed and

corruption as we've seen recently with

FIFA because we're just focused on

performance in schools we're seeing

academic robots on a conveyor belt to

something they don't know where they're

going because that's what they're being

told what to do because they've been

held accountable what's this one that's

a degrade send it back yeah it's not the

system is not working and we need to

rethink how we can create an environment

where everybody can thrive feel inspired

and operate at their full potential so

I've shared my story with you I'd like

you to think about what your story is

and what you can do to help others

thrive in this world thank you