Lessons Learnt Tackling the Corporate World

By Craig Lambert, Account Executive, Upstream Solutions

How things have changed in just a few short years. For me, moving away from 30+ years in the sporting industry, add to that the recent confronting circumstances of Covid, and I’ve found myself reflecting over my journey into the Corporate world.

With a background in coaching and development, a suit and tie was a far cry from where I thought I’d be today. Yet, be it in sporting gear or formal wear, my fundamental philosophy still revolves around helping others achieve the most out of themselves. While it might seem a noble objective, it’s one that I’ve learnt needs unconditional collaboration and care for your colleagues to achieve, otherwise it can leave your team and company vulnerable. Looking back on the last couple of years, I’ve noticed a few themes that have helped me along the way to get to where I am.

Stepping out of your Comfort Zone

When an opportunity arises, take it. Addressing some of your fears head on could just be the best decision you make. Take me for example, given an opportunity by Upstream to join the corporate world as part of their sales team was totally outside my comfort zone. I was out of my depth, in a new industry, unsure of my capabilities. Yet here I am, two years on succeeding.  While I credit most of that to the Upstream team that supported and guided me through those rough waters, helping me believe in myself, I still had to be the one to make that first leap of faith.

Acknowledge the Wins

Looking back over the last 2 years I’ve had to pinch myself how far I have come. Some wins are small, easy to miss, and some are big, but overall, it’s important to stop, take stock and celebrate your achievements. The more colleagues that feel a part of a team and cared for, the bigger the results can be. Bringing people on the journey, giving credit where credit is due, opens the opportunity for even greater achievements collectively.

Attitude is Everything

As my great mentor, Ray Giles, shared ‘to be number 1, train like number 2 so you are always hungry and never let your competitors strike by allowing oneself to be complacent.’ Think and train like a winner, you become a winner.

Yet equally important is humility. Humility has always intrigued me, as most of the successful people I know have this universal humility to give back and have a holistic approach to life and work. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and be honest not just about your successes, but also your struggles. Not many of us have a smooth path and you’re not alone in your challenges. For me, sharing my ongoing struggles of anxiety and fear of failure makes me vulnerable, but it also gives me strength to continue the process to be the best I can be. The last few years have helped me understand that regardless of my doubts, anything is possible when you focus on the positive and let the right people in.

Sharing is Caring

If you have access to something that can help for the better, then share it. I’ve found that linking my incredible sporting network of people from amazing companies, with business solutions that I know truly make a positive impact, is a delight. Not only does it give me an amazing sense of pride and genuine care, but it also delivers the recipients tangible outcomes to help their businesses become more efficient.  Be bold and share your expertise.

Look Out for Each Other

People are the most important thing in life and in business. We’ve seen much suffering during the last few years, and stress and anxiety has taken a toll of many of us. We’ve also seen unconditional acts of genuine care and support that have helped lift people from these challenging times. As I’ve been helped and supported in my low times by some amazing people, I’m acutely aware that I can also play a part in being there for others. It doesn’t need to be big acts, just being available or listening can make a difference. Extreme times can teach us a valuable lesson that to truly give is far better than taking. May we always notice the opportunity to support and lift each other.