Featuring guest speaker Cath Bishop
The Long Win: How our obsession with winning is holding us back and why it's time to rethink what success means
The University of Reading was delighted to host the first online event in our inspirational Alumni Lecture Series, which took place online on Wednesday 21 October at 18.30 (UK time) and featured alumna Dr Cath Bishop, former Olympic rower and respected diplomat (PhD, Contemporary German Literature, 2000).
Olympic champions cross the line first and describe emptiness and anti-climax. Astronauts talk of desolation in their lives after their incredible adventures in space. Business leaders face increasing levels of burnout and poor engagement levels across organisations. Pupils leave schools with clutches of A grades but struggle to operate in a world that requires different skills than are tested in exams. And politicians persist in trying to find a way to win against global issues that require a completely different approach. All these traditional winners are finding that winning isn't what they thought it would be. If winning isn't working well for the winners - let alone the rest of us - then it's time to reconsider our definition of what success means in our lives, personal and professional.
Cath's unique career combines experience across Olympic sport, diplomacy in warzones and coaching in business. She has encountered the search for success and desire to win at every turn and has become fascinated over recent years with the deeply engrained role that winning plays in our lives. In her talk based on her new book, 'The Long Win: The search for a better way to succeed', Cath examines our obsession with winning, how it is holding us back in schools, businesses, sports and politics, and proposes a new approach, 'the long win'.
Cath is an Olympian who rowed at 3 Olympic Games, winning World Championships gold and Olympic silver. She studied for her PhD at the University of Reading and went on to work as a diplomat with the Foreign Office, specialising in stabilisation policy in conflict-affected areas of the world. She now works in leadership development and organisational cultural change as a coach, consultant and speaker and teaches on leadership programmes at the Judge Business School, Cambridge University.
Attendees had the opportunity to put questions to Cath in a live Q&A at the end of the event!