Confidence Tip- Get a role model

Here’s me and my good mate Leon Taylor, a couple of weeks ago, on the Terrace Pavilion at the House of Commons celebrating my other good friend and founder of the Brendan Barns 20 years in business. Leon is a Olympic Silver medallist and amongst his many other achievements also invented the most difficult dive in the world.

On our workshops we talk about having a magic mentor or role model and always encourage delegates to go away and study other brilliant communicators (but of course now with the advantage of noticing the techniques that before the workshop they weren’t consciously aware of).

Leon judging on ITV’s Splash.

Years ago I once asked Leon if he could remember when he’d first decided that he wanted to compete at the Olympics. He said he could remember it clearly. He was seven years old and watching the TV with his Dad. On the screen came the image of a man stood on a podium. He was whistling the national anthem. Leon asked his Dad “who is that, what is he stood on and why is he whistling?” his dad said “Son that is Daley Thompson, he’s stood on the top of that because he has just won an Olympic Gold medal and the reason he his whistling is to stop himself crying because he is so proud”. Leon says it was at that exact moment he decided he’d like to go to the Olympics and win a medal too. And of course he did with silver in Athens.

So it should come as no surprise that one of the diver Tom Daley’s mentors is Leon Taylor.

I highly recommend Leon’s book “Mentor” based on his experience of helping Tom and others develop amongst many other things mental toughness and confidence.

Talking of Daley this also got me thinking about Daley Thompson and what he had to say about confidence. His mental approach comes down to the viewpoint: “That I’m good at it until proved otherwise”. Most people he believes, approach things from the opposite end, feeling that they’re probably not going to be very good and hoping for a lucky surprise. Approaching everything you take on in the confident belief that you will excel is very different from the way in which most people face challenges. That’s what Daley Thompson does, that’s what Leon Taylor does, my question for you to consider is “do you?”

By the way Leon is a brilliant speaker and I’ve mentored him along the way so I urge you to book him for your next event. Of course you’ll have to wait till he gets back from the Olympics. Come on team GB!

For find out more about Leon Taylor visit:

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