LDC Top 50 2019
Adrian Moorhouse MBE
Adrian Moorhouse MBE won gold for Britain in the 100m breaststroke at the 1988 Olympics. When the swimming legend retired in 1992, he knew that wasn’t the end of his career.
“I didn’t want to just be some ex-sportsperson,” he says. Realising he owed much of his success to the sports psychologists who helped him develop a winning mindset, he set up Lane4 in 1995 to bring these learnings to the business world. Lane4 now offers all kinds of management training and consultancy, and Adrian doubles the size of the business every four years. He has ambitions to reach 1m learners worldwide.
What’s your own personal ambition?
When you’re a kid in sport, your ambition is – in some ways – selfish. You win gold medals for yourself. I swam till I was 28 and finally realised that great performance comes from working in a squad. Now, my ambition is more driven by achieving big things with a team. My ambition has only increased over time.
What’s your proudest business achievement?
When we affect a middle manager in a big organisation and they become really good at what they do, enjoying it more, not only is their working life enhanced but the lives of the people who work for them change too because that person is a better-quality manager. And many of those people are active in the community too. Some are football coaches or brownie leaders or school governors. They can apply their leadership lessons in the community too. I’m pushing that agenda really hard to heighten community impact and that makes me really proud.
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever received?
One of our first clients asked me what I thought of his business. I was sycophantic, saying ‘You’re great at this and that.’ He stopped me and said, ‘the moment you only tell me what you think I want to hear, you’ll stop working for me. I want the truth.’ I listened and now I value integrity and honesty above all else. So I tell everyone here not to worry about upsetting the client: tell them the truth. Don’t be a consultant that sucks the life out of the company.