As an athlete Seb’s talent and commitment earned twelve world records and two Olympic gold medals; the story of his early rivalry is set for cinema release in 2015. In presentations Seb shares the lessons from leading the most successful Games in modern times. He highlights the need to be seen to deliver on your vision, to put together a resilient team from diverse backgrounds, to communicate pre-emptively and to leave nothing at all to chance.
Using his political skills, his strategic know-how and a true passion for sport, Lord Coe won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics in London. Seven years later the Prime Minister thanked him for “lifting our hearts” after organising the most successful Games of modern times.
Seb first made his name as one of the greatest athletes of his generation. He set twelve world records over four distances, achieving four golds and three silver medals in the Olympics and European Championships. He tells the story in his autobiography, Running My Life. Talking about the setbacks as well as victories, he shows how he beat the competition by facing down everything in training: “You don’t become a champion by turning up and hoping to get lucky.”
In speeches Seb takes audiences from his own on-track rivalries to the lessons learned from London - overseeing an enormous infrastructure and logistical exercise in one of the world's great cities. He highlights the need to build a resilient and dependable team, from a variety of backgrounds; to be seen to deliver on your vision (even while under constant scrutiny); and to communicate pre-emptively and leave nothing to chance. Above all, he underlines the age-old proposition that no amount of theorising replaces ‘the genius of hard work.’
Before he took on the Olympic role Seb served as a Member of Parliament, a Government Whip and Private Secretary to William Hague - which gives rise to numerous anecdotes. He also set up a chain of health clubs and acted as a global advisor to Nike.
Seb was honoured with a Life Peerage in 2002, becoming Lord Coe of Ranmore. He has since been appointed a KBE, and named ‘Greatest Briton’ in the Morgan Stanley Awards. He remains Vice President of the IAAF, and secured the 2017 World Athletics Championships for London. In this case it is only the third largest sporting event on the planet.
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Listening to Seb you can’t help recall your own favourite moment from London 2012 - be it Super Saturday, the Gamesmakers or Mo Farah winning a second gold. When you hear the behind-the-scenes stories and take in the true scale of the project, you realise quite how much Seb and his team achieved. He’s not just a great leader – he’s also an awesome communicator. JLA Agent Jeremy Frewer
Coe on Talent & Communication