Floyd Woodrow: Elite performance and leadership

Published:  16 June, 2017

For more than 20 years, Floyd Woodrow served in the SAS. Inspiring his men in the most demanding of situations, Floyd drove his team to the highest levels of success. Awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery, he was the perfect motivational speaker for delegates at this year’s BMF’s All-Industry Conference.

Providing the audience with a practical and innovative model for leadership and performance, Floyd offered them a practical guide to boosting productivity, team cohesion and individual motivation.

Referring to the ‘Compass for Life’ model, Floyd discussed how a strategy for success is aligned to the cardinal points of a compass. He broken down the four points as follows:

North - The ultimate direction you want to go in

South - Setting milestones and a strategy. To implement a strategy you need to communicate it so that everyone knows what they are doing. You have to look at your team and make changes to it if necessary.

West – ‘Warrier’ - seizing opportunities so that you / a business reaches each milestone. Are you going to commit and get to the next milestone?

East – ‘Ethos’ - values and what they stand for, for an individual or business. Do you hold those values, and when did you last show them? Do you deliver on your ethos? Look at your team – do they feel safe enough to be honest with you and engage with you?

“Everyone needs a compass for life that works for them as an individual, family, team or organisation,” he said.

Having a positive mindset, and in particular, a growth mindset where you never stop growing or learning, enables you to be the best you can be, according to Floyd. “What’s your dream and what’s stopping you from achieving it?” he asked the audience. “You must always know where you’re going in life and have a north star. It’s important that you challenge yourself and you should never stop believing in what you can achieve.”

To become an elite leader, Floyd told delegates how it’s important to visualise where you want to be, embrace change and drop old habits. “You have to keep moving and improving to move forward. You need to have your own map and push the boundaries of your potential,” he said.

He continued: “You need to say to yourself: ‘My north star is about the best I can be’. Having a north star ultimately drives you – don’t just wonder about the future, drive it.”

Posing the question: What makes a successful team? Floyd highlighted what he believes are five key points to delegates:

  • Attention to team results
  • Holding each other accountable
  • Full individual commitment
  • Willingness to engage in constructive conflict
  • Trust and openness.

Alluding to something Kenton Cool said in his presentation at the conference, Floyd discussed how failure can be an individual’s biggest fear, however, if you make a mistake, you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. He concluded: “Learn from your mistakes and train your mind. Fear is ‘of the future’, while being scared is in the moment. Being fearful about something can be a good thing because it gives you something to focus on. The fear of culture just wastes mental energy on something that may never happen.”

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