16 Lessons for Winning the Game of Business

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Winning the Game of Business

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As business leaders, we can learn so much from the greats of world sport.

At our recent AIBF Masterclass Winning The Game Of Business we hosted three Irish sporting icons who have achieved the exceptional both on and off the field of play…

With 9 All-Ireland Titles and 7 All-Stars between them, Anna Geary, Brendan Maher and Liam Sheedy know exactly what it takes to succeed.

And we were delighted to discover the strategies behind their greatest achievements both on and off the field of play.

In the spirit of peer learning, we have compiled in this booklet some of our favourite learnings from the Masterclass session.

We hope they inspire and motivate you to achieve your personal and business goals in 2022.

Winning The Game Of Business was held in support of ‘𝐂𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐛 𝐖𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐢𝐞’ – an initiative set up by leading Irish journalist Charlie Bird to raise vital funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA) and Pieta House.

Charlie has shown incredible resilience and strength in his own battle with motor neurone disease and the AIBF is proud to support him.


Pictured above is Anna Geary Media & Broadcasting, Performance & Wellbeing Coach.

1. Leadership is about serving everyone under you

Ask yourself, ‘How do I give you the tools you need to succeed & proceed?

One of the greatest things you can do as a leader is to step back and allow others to take charge.

Leaders come in all different shapes and sizes, and you don’t have to be in a position of leadership to be a brilliant leader.

2. Build a pack

We can always achieve more together than you can alone. “For the strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” Rudyard Kipling

3. Encourage diverse personalities

Everyone has a different skill and role to play.

Surround yourself with people who have different strengths & skills than you.

This variety of skills strengthens the team & increases the success and learning opportunities.

4. You do not lose in life – you learn

Failure is not a weakness – failure is a sign that you have the courage to give something a go.

Failure usually comes before success – you win or you learn.

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. So what if you make a mistake! No matter how many mistakes you make along the way, put your next foot forward & keep learning.


Pictured above is Liam Sheedy Vice Chairman, Teneo Ireland and Head of Teneo Performance.

5. Teamwork makes the dream work!

Teamwork, communication and self-discipline are the cornerstones of team success. Nurture collaboration in your teams and be prepared to reap the rewards.

6. Don’t get attached to ideal outcomes

Perfection never happens – so don’t let its pursuit slow you down.

Do the very best work you can with the resources that are available to you.

Accept what you cannot control, and focus on what you can affect – don’t sweat the small stuff.

7. But don’t become complacent…

Get obsessed with improving 1% every day.

Incremental improvements made with consistency add up to huge advancements over time.

Pictured above is Brendan Maher Associate Director, Teneo.

8. Give structure to your teams

Simplify your game plan into manageable components for the individuals

As a business owner and leader set your game plan, communicate, motivate and then let your team make it happen.

And if you’re a micromanager remember: Coaches can’t get out on the pitch and play.

Kingsley Aikins | AIBF

9. Remember what’s important

Your status or your job title is not your identity, your impact on people is much more important.

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel”.Maya Angelou

Trust is earned so be impeccable with your word.

10. Create an environment that encourages growth

Foster a collaborative culture with an emphasis on mutual respect. The key is to understand that everybody’s contribution is valuable.

“There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” George Shinn


Pictured above is Paul Allen Managing Director at Paul Allen & Associates.

11. Know your why

Know, your purpose – why do you do what you do? And always give it%.

Stay humble & build resilience.‘Never let success go to your head, never let a defeat break your heart.

12. Find joy in the journey

Enjoy the process.

Then when you reach your destination, no matter the outcome, remember that it is only a small moment in the overall journey.

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13. Set high standards

Set the bar high and people will rise to that bar.

If you set average standards, don’t be surprised by average outcomes.

14. Check your perspective

Develop a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset. P

Practice positivity & remember perspective is everything v’s.

15. Be adaptable

‘When you’re on top of your game, change your game.’

Always be curious, adaptable & be willing to make continuous improvements, no matter how small.

Look after yourself Prioritise, practice & foster self-care & kind self-talk.

You cannot maintain peak performance without time to recover, reflect & re-energize yourself.

Be kind.

16. Know your worth

Do not underestimate the impact you can have (& do have) on people. Sometimes the smallest actions can have the biggest impact.

Be present and REALLY learn to listen Remember, we have two ears and one mouth.

Build yourself a TRIBE, surround yourself with great people.