The Centre for Army Leadership Podcast

Episode 23 - Kate Richardson-Walsh OBE: leading high-performance teams

January 13, 2022

In the first episode of 2022, we are joined by one of UK sport's most accomplished female athletes, Kate Richardson-Walsh OBE. Kate represented the England and Great Britain hockey teams 375 times, captaining them for 13 years and leading Great Britain to Olympic Gold in 2016. Kate speaks openly to us about the importance of being humble and learning from the people you lead and shares personal anecdotes from her career and Olympic journey. She discusses the importance of high-performing teams sharing values and a collective vision, as they did in 2016 by crafting the collective goal of "Be the difference; Create History; Inspire the Future". Kate highlights the importance of authentic and transparent leadership in high-performing teams, allowing those you lead to see you as a person and not just a leader. As one would expect from a leader in the high-performance world, she also stresses the importance of leaders not shying away from having difficult conversations as these conversations maybe needed to drive higher standards and results. In a particularly heartfelt moment, Kate speaks openly about her experience of sharing her Olympic journey with her wife Helen Richardson-Walsh MBE and becoming the first same-sex married couple to win Olympic Gold together. Finally, Kate speaks positively about failure and how one must use it as a positive learning experience, recounting a seminal moment from early in her career where she experienced failure and how it helped pave the way to Olympic Gold in Rio; as Kate says herself, "the past is where the gold dust lies." 


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