Olympic rower and Women Ahead’s Head of Sports Programmes, Charles Cousins, gave an uplifting talk about growth mindsets to Covea Insurance guests in Reading on Thursday.


Charles is an Olympic and World Championship rower who is passionate about sharing his lessons learnt in both professional sport and now in a business role.


He encouraged the diverse group of female leaders at Covea to develop a growth mindset – the belief that setbacks are an opportunity to grow, not the end of the road. A growth mindset is one which says you can achieve anything with enough effort and a positive attitude, and that change is always a good thing.


Charles has learnt so much about the human mind and ability to succeed through his great success in rowing but also following an injury which dashed his hopes of competing in the Olympics in Rio.


He said: “Self belief is everything. There’s an old saying that succeeding in sport is 50% physical and 50% mental, but I prefer my friend’s saying – “It’s 90% mental and the other 10% is in your head.”


For Charles, confidence is key, and building up the self-esteem of your team is critical to success. He would make sure everyone in the GB rowing squad realised how great their performances were by giving them real examples of their success.


He said: “There’s an African proverb I really like:- If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.”


If we can help you deliver a motivational growth mindset session with your employees, contact Liz Christie on +44 (0) 1189 406828 or