18 Mar 2021
To celebrate International Women’s Day, FPUK hosted an inspirational talk with Sarah Winckless, MBE, Rowing World Champion and Olympic Medallist on 10 March.
To mark International Women’s Day (IWD) this year, Frasers Property UK invited Rowing World Champion and Olympic Medallist Sarah Winckless MBE to share her motivational story from an illustrious sporting career with its employees.
Choose to challenge
The international IWD theme of #ChooseToChallenge was threaded throughout Sarah’s sharing. To be the best at what you do, she encouraged the audience to constantly challenge oneself – at the individual or team level in different situations.
Speaking to the 40-strong UK team, Sarah explained how she and her teammates had to take on new challenges readily to succeed. A term she referenced as “bridging the gap” was used to draw attention to areas that required transformational changes to pre-existing behaviours and a limiting mindset to move towards success.
Even an Olympian and a highly accomplished woman can be prone to self-doubt. Reflecting on her early rowing career when she was a student at Cambridge University, Sarah questioned her place and was not convinced she was good enough. It took much time to carefully assess the skills and attributes she needed to win before deciding she was indeed good enough, which coincided at the turn of the millennium on New Year’s Eve.
With this mental switch, Sarah was then able to focus on her Olympic goal surrounding herself with people who could help her achieve it.
Sarah shared her story and insights from her exciting career touching on powerful themes including innovation, collaboration and inclusion and how this can be applied to the workplace.
Five steps to confident leadership
In sharing her pathway to success at the Olympic Games and World Championships, Sarah outlined five core steps she adopted and uses to create confident leaders:
During the Q&A session, employees probed deeper into Sarah’s success mindset to learn how to apply her sporting experience to a work environment. Visualisation techniques for mental preparation help her achieve positive outcomes. Not one to believe in positive thinking, Sarah prefers ‘optimal thinking’ – a process to visualise how a desired outcome feels and looks.
About Sarah Winckless
From the UK, Sarah Winckless is a 2004 Olympic bronze medallist, double world champion rower, and a recipient of the Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration at the 2013 Sky Sports and Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards. She was the inaugural Chairman of the BOA’s Athletes Commission and the first woman to be appointed as an Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race umpire.
Staying involved in her own sport as an active sportsperson, a Henley Steward and a Boat Race umpire, Sarah currently serves with the Athletes Commission and sits on the Board of UK Anti-Doping. An important part of her work is centred around the Huntington’s disease (HD) community where she serves as Patron of the Scottish Huntington’s Association (SHA), taking joy in supporting HD youth carriers at their annual summer camps. In 2013, she was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for Services to Sport and Young People.