In the 2012 run up to the London Olympics I had the privilege of sitting next to Sarah Story at a Scottish Widows’ dinner. I was a Director at The Value Engineers working with the brand and insight team and she was an ambassador for the iconic brand together with Roger Black. If you can think back to before the London 2012 Olympics, people’s knowledge and understanding of the Paralympics was minimal, so it was Roger Black who stole the limelight which meant I had lots of time to chat to Sarah and I have celebrated her success ever since.
What struck me during our chat was how intelligent, articulate, down-to-earth and driven she was. What struck me when listening to recent interviews a decade later is how grounded she still is, how willing she is to put in the hard work, how she never takes anything for granted – even after 17 Paralympic gold medals, being the most successful British Paralympian, shortlisted for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2021, becoming a Dame, and breaking world records after becoming a mum. And always with a smile on her face!
I’m a great believer that the characteristics that drive success in sport are similar to those in business. Sarah talks about having “an intense drive to be the best I can”. The messages in the ‘top tips’ video for cyclists (link below) apply just as much to business as to cycling.
- Work on improving every day
- Change one thing at a time
- Enjoy what you are doing
“Finding joy in the journey is really important. There will always be hurdles, always adversity, but finding joy in unravelling the challenges is really exciting and rewarding.”