Cath Bishop’s new book says: Winning isn’t working anymore – it’s time to redefine success

By Cath Bishop

UK Olympic medallist, international diplomat and business coach Cath was a brilliant speaker at one of our Network lunches.

It feels like it’s a real topic of the moment with all the stories from US and GB gymnastics and elite athletes looking to create more meaning in their lives beyond simply winning medals – the same applies across the business world, where perhaps Covid-19 is causing a re-evaluation of what matters and brings values in our lives. I recorded an episode with BBC Radio 4 podcast ‘Don’t Tell Me The Score’ recently which has gone down well: My book ‘The Long Win: The Search for a Better Way to Succeed’ is coming out in October (available for pre-order on Amazon/Waterstones).

‘It’s all about results!’ ‘Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing!’ ‘Don’t be a loser!’ These phrases resound from the playground to the boardroom. But our laser-like focus on results is a fallacy. Athletes win gold and still feel empty and unfulfilled; business leaders reach the top of their game but feel burnt out and struggle to motivate their employees; pupils with armfuls of A grades find themselves ill-equipped for the workplace; politicians fight to win elections but seem unable to tackle the global issues of our time.

In her book Cath investigates why our ‘winning’ obsession isn’t working, even for the winners. She draws on her personal experience of high-performance professional environments, tracing how the idea of winning has become a defining concept across sport, business, education and politics. She explores how our obsession with winning at all costs is holding us back in schools, workplaces, on sports pitches and at the ballot box, and offers a new, broader approach in The Long Win.

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