Always adaptable on the rugby field, Austin’s range now extends all the way from paso doble to punditry on BT Sport and a range of business interests. After dinner he reveals how he keeps up his energy levels, lifts the lid on Woodward’s pep-talks and describes the pressure of touring (with Strictly).
As flexible on the rugby field as off it, Austin represented both England and the British & Irish Lions. He then became equally well known for his fancy footwork on Strictly Come Dancing.
Austin’s long career as a utility back with the Leicester Tigers was punctuated by injury, but it didn’t stop him winning two European Cups for his club and 51 caps for his country. Since his retirement Austin has worked in banking and provided punditry for the BBC and ESPN, as well as coming very close to winning the ballroom crown with Erin Boag.
Austin’s approach to challenges is as relevant to business as it is to sport: know more, prepare more, push harder. In motivational speeches he talks about creating a winning culture, living the brand, and establishing a flexible framework which designates roles to those who need them but liberates those who don’t. Most importantly, Austin argues that success is not just about winning - it’s knowing how you won so you can develop the winning habit.
After dinner ‘The Leicester Lip’ may refer to the ins and outs of a Woodward pep-talk, and why Martin Johnson should never use the back seat. As in his book, Me and My Mouth, Austin talks frankly and wittily about his time in rugby. Ever reluctant to hang up his sequins, he might also lift the lid on the Strictly Tour - where he achieved even more success than on television.
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When I last worked with Austin the audience loved the travel stories he’d put together for his intro, the production team loved 28 awards being presented bang on time and the client loved the fact that their briefing had been followed to a tee. They were also chuffed he did a ‘Strictly’ twirl to kick the evening off! JLA Agent Tom Mclaughlin
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