Learnings for lawyers from this sensational summer of sport 2021

Football, Rugby, military are often the natural go-to’s for exploring the power of teamwork.

But today we’re talking wrestling.


Not this kind of wrestling. Not even WWF.

But 1 on 1 Olympic wrestling. (Just to warm us up for the Olympics which will embrace the globe from 23 July).

What on earth does wrestling have to do with team togetherness?

A lot more than meets the eye. And we’ve picked the brain of former Olympic wrestler and Canadian national champion, Howard Stupp. Howard’s allowed us a sneak peak as to how attributes developed through the Canadian wrestling team enabled him to take his skills and competencies to deliver impacts at every level: personal, team, organisational, community and societal.

Howard will openly share that he found his way to the IOC largely due to the fact that he wasn’t offered a job after completing his Stage/training contract. But when the entry level role opened up at the IOC he only had one thing in his sights. A focus that he had nurtured from an early age through wrestling. It was an opportunity that got onto his radar because of his network.

Learnings for lawyers:

When we talk about team, we often confuse it with the people we work with. But when we think about what team togetherness actually looks like, the behaviours, the spirit, the feeling - whether we remember the togetherness of the Welsh football team or the sacrifices made by Bottas for Team Mercedes, we can start to see a different picture revealing.

Team togetherness is not always what we imagine it to be

We reflect on the behaviours of others having your back, without asking for it. We reflect on feelings - a sense of being united, protected, stronger, not alone. We reflect on how we advocate for each other.

The most powerful teams are often informal; connected by shared values, shared awarenesses of each other’s interests. Human connectivity is at the heart. Those are the transformative connections - the ones that take you way beyond a simple transactional connection.

Transformative human connectivity

How does your network line up - perhaps without realising it your network has its own unconscious ranking system. You know the lowest level being all those people in your contact list (some of whom you don’t even remember anymore), and the highest being that network of people who have your back and speak up for you, are your eyes and ears for opportunities and for whom you are likewise. This is your premier league of networks. Who is in your premier league network?

Howard will be joining us at our Community Roundtable on “Releasing the power of team togetherness for lawyers” where we’ll continue the conversation and unpack how wrestling has empowered him at a personal level in his career to being a critical part of teams responsible for global economic and social transformation. Howard’s Olympic career started as a wrestler representing Canada in the 1976 Olympics.

Fast forward 2 Olympic cycles and Howard was back in the Olympic family, this time as a lawyer. His legal career saw him advising the IOC through 3 presidencies, the reintegration of post-apartheid South Africa into the Olympic family and from the last Games of the Cold War era (Seoul 1988) to Rio 2016 where Yusra Mardini the swimmer representing the first stateless refuge team of any Olympics...

... and Simon Biles’ arrival to own the gymnastics' stage.

Tokyo will be the first time Howard won’t be attending the Games in person since 1988!

You do not want to miss this rare opportunity to hear from Howard and his panel peers about the power of team togetherness from sport to law.

Register here to secure you place now.

Spaces are limited.

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