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Tigers hero makes the pitch for business success

Former England Rugby ace Leon Lloyd inspired future leaders with his story of life after sport at a Leicester Business Festival event.

The retired winger, who enjoyed huge success with Leicester Tigers for nearly 14 years, spoke at the Leicester Castle Business School about the challenge of finding a new career after retiring at 30 from the sport.

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Having dedicated himself to rising to the top of his game, scoring the winning try for the Tigers in the 2001 Heineken Cup Final and gaining five caps for England, Leon told a crowd of business leaders and students how he made the difficult transition to the “real world”.

He said: “I knew after retiring that I wanted to work in business. My first step was to work in the box office, taking calls from disgruntled fans when we’d not played well.”

He said he shadowed the club’s CEO and ground staff, working out what it was he really wanted to do, eventually studying to get a degree and make a move into business, to his present position as founder and director of Legends Rugby and a director of social enterprise Switch the Play.

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Leon was speaking at an event organised by DMU which focused on apprenticeship funding – showing what government money is available, how to apply for it and use it to develop and grow skills.

He said: “Playing at Welford Road I had been used to instant feedback. If I dropped the ball or made a mistake, I knew about it; from the players, the crowd. They let me know.

“And so feedback in business is important. If you want to lead, you have to listen.”

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He stressed the importance of teamwork; that you “wouldn’t win anything with a team full of Jonny Wilkinson’s.” And he named his three key concepts for success in business: people, leadership and teamwork.

The event also heard from Alison Cox, Head of Apprenticeships at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) on the latest developments in apprenticeships for those in leadership roles.

It was one of a number of event being held by DMU as part of this year’s Leicester Business Festival, which runs at venues across the city until November 3.

Alison Bragg, programme leader of the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship at DMU said: “There is a lot of transferability between sport and business. Leon excels at talking to sports people about how they can use their skills to succeed in business.

“There are so many skills in the world of sports which benefit businesses and vice versa.

Posted on Wednesday 25th October 2017

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