Passion and hard work were determined as key to success in business and sport by one of the country’s leading sportsmen at a function in Kilkenny city last week. And when he emerged from a door into the function room at the top of Hotel Kilkenny it was as if Henry Shefflin was coming out of the dressing rooms of one of the many stadia he has graced since 1999.
All eyes were on him. He immediately started to press the flesh and to emphasise the need to copper-fasten the relationship between business and sport as part of his job with Bank of Ireland. The hugely successful event was part of Bank of Ireland’s National Enterprise Week to cater for anybody who has an interest in starting a sports business and to get industry experts to draw on the comparisons between business and sport.
Henry was the keynote speaker and he didn’t disappoint and with his foot in a protective brace, he focussed on the need to raise your standards and not to limit your beliefs. He also spoke about his battles with serious injury and if his performance on Tuesday night is anything to go by he will again be a force to be reckoned with in the championship this summer.
Deirde Shine of Bank of Ireland, Parliament Street, Kilkenny stressed the importance of team work in driving business and sport, pointing out that the the two are linked intrinsically.
Marking Henry Shefflin on the night was Head of Sales and Revenue with Bank of Ireland, former All- Ireland winning Tipperary Hurling Manager. Liam Sheedy. He explained the aim of National Enterprise Week and outlined the supports that Bank of Ireland has for anybody looking to start their own business. He then gave some of his own insights on what he feels makes a successful leader and team in business or sport.
CEO Leinster Rugby, Mick Dawson, a frequent visitor to the city brought the audience through the story of Leinster rugby over the last decade and how the province has adapted to changes in the required fitness of players, the competition for players from other sports, building the brand and attracting long term sponsors andsponsors and becoming one of the top clubs in Europe.
Chris Kitchen, CEO Triathlon Ireland, is head of an organisation that has a huge growth in a very short space of time. Chris explained how getting the foundations right is key to growing a sports business and how knowing exactly what your customers want at a particular point in time will ensure your business is sustainable.
A number of common teams were identified from all the speakers. They are:
- Raise your standards
- Do the work- Change your limiting beliefs
- Find a role model
- Think solutions not problems