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In this instalment of Business Leader Insight, we spoke to Pete Lowe; former Head of Education and Performance Management at Manchester City, a leadership specialist and founder of First Team Ltd.
As a professional speaker and thought leader on the global circuit, Pete draws on his experience of the high-performance environment of Premier League football to help businesses to create and sustain a culture of success. He proves that there are startling similarities between the pitch and the boardroom.
Pete’s track record includes more than 13 years in a senior role at Manchester City Football Club, where he was responsible for helping to develop an unrivalled talent pipeline that created 39 first team footballers and 25 full international players over a ten year period.
The team’s trophy cabinet was a testament to this success, with 13 European tournament wins, an U15 Championship World Cup, six Divisional Premier League Championships and the FA Youth Cup. Understanding how people tick and how to help them realise their potential was instrumental to his career at MCFC. He claims that knowing each character in the training room lies at the heart of extraordinary team performance.
Pete is adamant that there are no shortcuts to sustained success. His powerful insights delivered in a ‘say it as it is’ manner captivates audiences and prove that ‘tales from the touchline’ translate to other arenas, with compelling results. He maintains that ‘excellence’ is a nebulous destination and continuous improvement is the Holy Grail of sustained high performance. A man who speaks from the heart using real-life insights, Pete believes that culture must support strategy and leaders create leaders, not followers.
Here’s a breakdown of what we discussed in the interview:
- Overview of Pete Lowe’s career (1:03)
- You were at Manchester City FC when the new ownership took over. What impact have they had on the club and the city? (2:37)
- What impact did the takeover have off the field, in the city of Manchester? (4:44)
- There have been cries by some of the top clubs for funding from the government due to the impact of COVID-19. Do you think clubs should get this assistance despite the perceived wealth in top-flight football? (7:22)
- What lessons from working in sport can be translated over to business? (8:44)
- When coming into a business for the first time, what do you believe are early signs that there’s a problem and how do you address those? (11:51)
- Do you think working from home will have an effect on the “winning culture” of the workspace? (13:53)
- What do you believe are the traits of a good modern leader? (15:36)
- What does your typical day entail and how do you keep yourself motivated? (18:36)
- Who do you think is going to win the Premier League and Champions League this year? (21:01)
- How can people get in touch with you? (21:58)
- A final word from Pete Lowe (22:34)
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