I associate the word “form” with athletes and performing artists. To survive and thrive they build, maintain and execute skills at a standard that is beyond most of us. If they are below par you’ll hear quips from the audience or commentators that they are “not on form.” You’ll regularly see it at the start of a season. The team have their pre-season training under their belts and are as fit as fiddles but there is something off in the white heat of battle. It can take teams five to six games to build into a season before they really start to hum.
Bands usually don’t hit their stride on a tour until they have a number of shows under their belt. Yes, they’ve rehearsed until the cows come home but they need to iron out how things sound live and how it hits the audience.
My middle-aged and mediocre triathlon pursuits rank among the more enjoyable experiences of my life. The closest I got to greatness though was having a pint, in the company of some friends, with Alistair Brownlee in my local – and his leg was in a splint at the time. Triathlon coaches regularly use the term “build the engine” in reference to the solid aerobic fitness base needed to complete a triathlon of any distance. Forget the money, that’s the real price of entry.
The engine in a rock band is the rhythm section – the “bottom end” they call it. Without John Paul Jones and John Bonham, neither of Jimmy Page or Robert Plant would have been able to do their thing. Likewise Bono and the Edge without Adam and Larry.
To go further the elites know that they need to have a lot more. They have built their engines and now have a foundation that will take them to the top. Depending on your sport this could mean regular skills, interval and weight training. It could also mean building mental skills in order to make good decisions and perform with confidence under pressure. To go from Brixton Academy to the Albert Hall great bands compose gripping musical movements with riffs and melodies that stir the soul and words that are sung straight at your heart.
Though I make my living through business the content of my work is replete with references to music, literature and sport as they are things that I love. Today through research, science and technology more and more of the principles of high performance and creativity of these disciplines are being incorporated into business. I used to despair at this but now I celebrate it. The stuffy grey corporate world of my youth where privilege, status and political connection ruled is disappearing, and good riddance. Nowadays there’s no better place to express your creativity than through your business.
As I work with clients we explore what they require in terms of building their own engines and boosting them so that they can thrive in leadership roles. How I help them find their form and be creative through business is the main focus of this site.