Speaker Q&A

Speaker Lisa Carrington talks challenges, balance & how innovation led her to winning gold

Lisa Carrington needs no introduction. Recently back from the Rio Olympics where she won a Gold and a Bronze in kayaking to go with her Gold at the London Olympics. She was our flag bearer at the closing ceremony as well, a huge honour, which shows her leadership standing amongst her peers!

Growing up in Ohope meant Lisa dabbled in surfing, surf lifesaving - which is another sport where she represented New Zealand - and whatever else her elder brothers were doing.

She's been awarded the NZ Order of Merit, been a five-time Halberg Sportswoman of the Year finalist, and won Maori Sportswoman of the Year for the past four years. Last year, she won the inaugural Extraordinary Award for the Best Female Sportsperson of the Past 25 Years. Lisa is studying a Graduate Diploma in Psychology to complement her Bachelor of Arts.

Carrington will be attending the Nurture Change Business Retreat in November, speaking about "Gold medal secrets on how to be disciplined to achieve your goals". There will be many learnings on how to be more successful in business and personally performance wise with her knowledge and skill around discipline.

Without discipline it is impossible to achieve all that you could be. When you read through Lisa's answers to our 6 questions below, you will see a lot of relevance for business success and you doing a better job all round.

Who is a leader you learnt something incredibly valuable from, and what was the lesson you learnt from them?

When I was coming up through kayaking I looked up to the top NZ female paddler at the time, Erin Taylor, who became my K2 partner in London and is now one of my closest friends. As a young 19-year-old I aspired to be as good as she was. Her work ethic and dedication was something I admired. When times got tough she was always the one who stuck it out. To me, that was a quality I did not have at the time and was something I worked hard to emulate.

What lesson have you learnt in sport that you could pass on to business?

In today's world there is always a better and faster way of doing things. In sport there is always someone getting stronger, fitter and faster. To be sure of keeping ahead of the field or pushing past them, I rely on challenge. If I am not being challenged I am not improving or growing. If there is one thing I am certain of that will help me find my potential, it is to be constantly challenged and not standing still.

Who do you think is a great innovator and why?

I have a great admiration for my coach Gordon Walker. He has come from a background of multi sport with his past education being in sports physiology. With no previous background in sprint kayaking nor Olympic high performance environment, he has been able to become one of the leading high performance coaches in NZ. With little blueprint on what it takes to be an elite coach, Gordy has managed to create a campaign that has allowed me to reach my potential. His holistic approach to coaching has led me to enjoy what I do, which in turn promotes and improves my performance. His innovation has allowed me to reach my goals and has also left a pathway or blueprint for others to follow. A lot of the work that a coach does is often in the dark so the only reward is often through an athletes achievements and performances.

What has been your biggest learning in sport to date and why? How has it affected you going forward?

I have many important learnings in sport but one that stands out would have to be the importance of creating balance in my life. It is easy for kayaking to take complete control of my lifestyle, so I make sure I create balance with university studies, making time for family and friends and also having hobbies such as surfing, baking or even gardening.

If you were 21 years old again and could do any career you wanted, what would you be and why?

To be honest, I would have no idea what I would be doing if I hadn't chosen sport. I hope that I would find a career that challenges me and forces me to grow like sport has provided over my life time. I have been a sports person for a large part of my life, so it has shaped me and my decisions over the last few years.

I feel lucky that I have no other job or place I would rather be in, this is my chosen path I have 100 per cent committed to it.

What are you most excited about in attending the Nurture Change Business Retreat in Fiji?

I am excited to hear from the innovators and leaders in their chosen fields.

The Nurture Change Business Retreat is for business owners, senior managers and entrepreneurs looking for new ideas, space to think on their business, inspiration, relaxation and connection with others from the business community. The Business Retreat runs November 2 to 6 at the 5-star InterContinental Fiji and features more than 14 incredible speakers across business, health and wellness, plus other activities. Some exciting speaker announcements just released. Almost sold out, get in quick. Details online at www.nurturechange.com

 - Sunday Star Times

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