Episode 35 is an interview with John Steele, currently Executive Director of Sport at Loughborough University.
Through the years, John has had some powerful sporting positions including CEO of organisations like the RFU – and UK Sport. He’s been an army officer, an athlete, a coach, and as well as his role at Loughborough he’s also Chairman of The English Institute of Sport.
We talk about the sporting system, creating high-performance environments, and how you go about maintaining a leadership focus when you have so many competing pressures.
John Steele has a unique blend of experience in creating and leading high performing teams, developed as a professional sports coach and Chief Executive in the private, public, and not for profit sectors.
He served as an army officer having been trained at the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to lead teams in high pressure environments. On leaving the army he worked in the corporate world before becoming a professional rugby player. On finishing a playing career that spanned over 400 first class games,including matches against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, John turned to coaching and successfully led Northampton Saints to become European Champions. He became Executive Director on the Saints Board during a period of unprecedented off field growth including a share issue and stadium development. Johns experience in rugby union also saw him serve on the England Rugby Board during the successful world cup campaign of 2003 and be appointed as CEO of the Rugby football Union.
The winning of the bid for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics saw John take up post as CEO of UK Sport, which he led for a six year period through Beijing and into London. His Team GB involvement spans nine different Games including the record breaking Rio Olympics and Paralympics, and the recent winter Games in Pyeongchang.
Having served as Group Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, he is now leading an ambitious change programme as Executive Director of Sport at Loughborough University.
Building on his life long passions of leadership and sport, he founded Unforgiving Minute, a niche consultancy with unique leadership development expertise from high performance sport.
John succeeded Steve Cram as Chairman of the English Institute of Sport. The EIS delivers a range of performance impacting sport science and sport medicine solutions to over 40 Olympic and Paralympic sports along with a select number of non-Olympic sports.