Profile/ Q & A with keynote speaker Greg Searle MBE


The Dell Management Challenge are delighted and proud to be associated with Greg Searle. Greg is a Olympic icon, winning a gold in 1992 Olympic rowing final of the coxed pairs . Greg staged a sensational comeback for the 2012 Olympics, aged 40, and won World Cup Gold and Olympic Bronze.


Greg will be the keynote speaker at the Dell Management Challenge 2015. Greg will draw on his successful Olympic and Executive Coaching experience on the importance of a clear vision, shared values and  at a performance level, contracting to a common cause to enable #TeamOptimisation. We recently caught up with him to undertake a brief Q and A profile:

 1          Personal profile:

  •  Age: 43
  • Home: Somerset 
  • Family: Wife and two kids
  • Occupation: Consultant
  • Current fitness regime: Regular running, golf and dog walking.
  • Interests: Watching my kids sport. Golf
  • Last holiday: Sardinia – Forte Village.
  • Last film watched: Divergent
  • Last book read: Talk Like TED
  • Newspaper read: Sunday Times


2          What you been up to since winning bronze in 2012?

 Working with Companies to help them perform like TeamGB

3          Can you confirm you have no plans to launch another comeback for Rio 2016?

 Watching the next generation now. No sporting goals for me. 

4           What are your thoughts and predictions for the GB Rowing team in 2016

TeamGB have set a goal to win more medals in Rio than in London. It’s a big ask because no one has ever won more medals after hosting than when they hosted. With the collaboration between Olympic Sports and The whole Paralympic team I think we can do it. 

5          What are your views  on the recent Sunday Times finding on IAAF as regards use of EPO and PED?

I think some sports are dodgy and I’m glad they are looking into it properly. I hope we aren’t all tarred with the same brush. 

6          We are delighted to welcome you as our keynote speaker on the 25 September, what is it that appeals to you to appear at this event and what will you be looking to achieve and communicate at the event?

 I like the idea of teams working together outside of their regular day to day business. I’m looking forward to helping people have a different level of connection to their colleagues. 

7          The Theme of the event is #TeamOptimisation. What does this term mean to you?

Team Optimisation is about getting the best from everyone. 

8           From your experience of two Olympics, World and European championships,what makes great/winning teams?

The best teams share a common purpose. They know why they are all there and have a level

Of interdependence to deliver collectively. 

9          Tell us why goal setting is important or indeed not important?

Outcome Goals get us out of bed in the morning. Performance goals help us measure progress and Process goals help us know how we need to act and behave on a daily basis. 

10         What are the key things you would be doing in terms of preparing for this event – as a team and as individuals?

Every session is an opportunity to learn. I’d encourage people to give and receive honest feedback so no training is wasted. 

11          From your experience as a Senior Executive Coach what difference do healthy executives (engaged in sport) have on their team’s productivity? Are physically fit teams more productive and why?

I believe the way you do anything is the way you do everything. If you look after yourself well then I’m sure you look after business well too. 

12         We appreciate there are many positive takeaways for the teams and individuals in the event, but if you had to pick just one, what would it be?

Having different conversations and experiences with each other. 

13          Quick fire questions

  • 2 or 8 man: Eight 
  • Water or isotonic drink: Water
  • Weight training or aerobic: Aerobic
  • iphone or android: iPhone
  • White or red: White
  • Twitter or facebook: Twitter @gregsearle2012
  • Beach holiday or skiing: Skiing
  • Mountain biking or road biking: Mountain biking

The 3 secrets of successful endurance athletes by Mark Whittle @whittlefit

Hi to all Dell Management Challenge participants!

If I asked you the three things which make a successful endurance athlete, what would you say?

For me, it’s less about talent, genetics and fitness, and much more about these three surprising characteristics…
Success means different things to different people, and success stories come in all shapes and sizes. Over the years, I’ve been privileged to work with many very successful endurance athletes. My successful clients range from elite triathletes qualifying for World Championship races and racing in GB kit, to first-timers getting fit for the first time and completing distances they once thought utterly impossible. A lifetime PB is as much of a success as overcoming illness or inspiring your family to be more active.

But you know what, amongst all those very different success stories, I’ve always noticed three character traits and behavioural habits. Three things which unite every “success”, whether it’s an elite athlete or a first-timer.

The 3 keys to successful endurance sport:

1 Consistency
The most perfect training plan in the world is little use unless you stick with it. Going at your endurance training too fast, too soon, will lead to burn out (and possible injury). And under-committing will leave you falling short of your fitness goals, too.

The key to reaching your endurance sport targets is consistency. Trust your training plan, commit to the process, and then sit with it for as long as it takes. Ultimately, it’s the small details, everyday habits, and ongoing process carried out consistently and calmly which will build the bigger picture. Consistency is key!

2 Progression
The second secret of endurance sport success is progression. You absolutely must be making progress, no matter how small, if you want to improve speed, fitness, strength and race times. Progress needs to be planned, measured and tracked. To build progression into your training, look at training stimulus. Training should build, layer on layer, by applying the correct load at the right time. Volume, distance, speed, endurance, pace and technique can all add layers to your training. Once you adapt, add another layer, to keep the progress coming. This is where it really helps to work with a coach in your sport.

Be honest and rigorous in asking yourself: is my training progressing?

3 Patience
Patience might sound like an odd quality to value in an athlete. But I think it’s very important. As endurance athletes, we tend to place great pride in our actions, results and data. Rest days are an annoyance to be endured with good grace if possible. The action is where it’s at: we’re never happier than when we’re sweating it out, pushing through barriers, or chasing PBs. So where does patience come into it? After all, patience sounds very calm, serene, and… boring. Without patience, your best efforts aren’t likely to bring results. In endurance sport, you need to be committed for the long-haul, whether that means a 12-week training plan or decades of training and racing, with all the accompanying highs and lows.

Progress, fitness and strength come slowly (sometimes frustratingly so), and we can be our own worst critics, failing to spot small successes and instead focusing on how others are doing. A patient, calm and methodical mindset will place you amongst those who enjoy true success in endurance sport… whatever that personally means to you.

These things are what underpin my coaching advice and guidance. Without them, the fitness training, nutrition advice and race-specific coaching can only ever get someone so far.

Do you agree with my three key characteristics of successful athletes? What would you add to the list?

Have an awesome week!

Mark Whittle @whittlefit

Press release: A dynamic Welsh company partners with Dell and Welsh Government

A dynamic young Welsh company, Defier, has forged strategic partnerships with some of the world’s largest and most influential technology companies namely Dell and LinkedIn well as establishing an enviable client base of leading global brands to include Microsoft, GE, Intel, PwC,  VMware, Associated British Foods as well as Welsh based Certus Technology Group, IQE and Circle IT.

Defier is owned by its Founding Chairman Hywel Loveluck. He and his team operate the highly acclaimed Dell Management Challenge hosted annually in Brecon Beacons National Park (25-27 September 2015). Complementing Defier’s strategic partnership with Dell are sponsor partnerships with LinkedIn, the world leading University of Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education, Ordnance Survey and  Welsh Government.

The Dell Management Challenge is a unique 4 dimensional competitive event involving teams of 7 corporate executives aimed at optimising management team performance and delivering positive charitable outcomes comprising:

  1. Two day Adventure Race involving teams competing in challenges to include canoeing, mountain biking, trail running/ hiking, navigation )
  2. Management development including learning and development delivered by renowned   Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education and  Olympic icon Greg Searle MBE
  3. Charity challenge – to include a Management case study task and fundraising to benefit 3 partner charities.
  4. Senior level networking forum

Said Tim Griffin, CEO of Dell UK,

“We are delighted to extend our title and strategic sponsorship of the Dell Management Challenge with Defier. Hywel and his team deliver a unique competitive learning and development experience for our clients and partners to enjoy and benefit. Along with Defier, we are also excited about our research and development partnership with Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education and the positive outcomes their efforts will deliver to our partner charities. Last but by no means least, we very much look forward  to progressing our commitment and partnership with the Welsh Government to include developing this annual event over the next three years”.

Welsh Government Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: ” Hosting this prestigious event in Wales provides a great opportunity to promote what Wales has to offer from a tourism and business perspective.

“Teams from leading global and UK corporate brands will be participating and bringing around 300 senior leaders to Wales from companies working across a number of our priority sectors. This tried and tested format involves competitive sporting activities, management development and charitable challenges that create the perfect environment and opportunity to network,  meet potential inward investors and talk business.

 “I am delighted that a number of Welsh Government Anchor companies are participating and wish all the teams every success

Said Rhys Williams, Government and Business Relations Leader at GE Aviation Wales,

“Our organisation has been supporting the Dell Management Challenge for a number of years and indeed our team came second in 2014! The format has evolved considerably over recent years as has the quality of the competition and business benefits delivered to participants. Our 2015 team are very much looking forward to improving on last years position  as well as supporting Duke of Edinburgh Awards in Wales, which is our nominated event charity”.

Said Hywel Loveluck, Chairman of Defier

“ We are thrilled to extend  our partnership with Dell  as well as our other new partnerships  established in 2015 including Welsh Government. Our 2015 event theme is #TeamOptimisation. Team members will get to understand the underlying principles of #TeamOptimisation and gain a  unique insight from Olympian Greg Searle MBE and also be part of a fascinating Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education research project on the theme. The team outcomes will involve applying collective  learning in the Team Adventure Race and Management Task to benefit themselves, their returning organisations and partner charities.

Finally we wish to thank the Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education for donating the prize for Winning team  who will win 7 Executive Education 2 day courses worth circa £15,000 at the business school”.



Management Challenge attend Dell Channel Partners conference

Dell Fast ForwardWe were delighted to attend the recent Dell Channel Partners conference at Millbank Towers, London. The event was hosted by Dell UK CEO Tim Griffin, EMEA President Aongus Hegarty and Sarah Shields, Head of Channels.

Channel partners were provided with technical updates from a number of Dell experts as well as an impressive business update from Tim and Aongus. (photos of business update and Dell Mangt Challenge stand at #Dellfastforward)DellFastfwd