In these conversations, it’s my intent to really dig, relentlessly dig, to work to understand the truth. The truth of the nature of the conversation, but also the truth of the person.

And opening up is challenging – it’s a really hard thing to do, as many of us can recognize, to be authentic and to be vulnerable.

But in this conversation with Alec Stewart, it just worked and it was a pleasure.

Alec is a former English cricketer, a right-handed batsmanwicketkeeper and former captain of the England cricket team.

He is the second most capped English cricketer of all time in Test matches and 3rd most capped in One Day Internationals (ODIs), having played in 133 Tests and 170 ODIs.

He’s got a storied tradition and an incredible body of work.

Alec now acts as an executive director of Surrey, one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales.

This conversation is about enjoyment for relentless hard word and appreciation for the way it feels.

It’s about setting a vision and having the confidence to pursue it.

Alec gives it his best shot with anything he does whether it’s training for his sport or washing his car – it all matters to him.

Some people have a hard time articulating their philosophy but Alec’s is quite clear – how can you be your best if you don’t do everything to the best of your ability.

He’s got a knack for always wanting to achieve more and doesn’t believe it’s possible without the proper preparation for whatever the task is at hand.

And so this is a human being that has excelled on the world stage, that is talking about how he loves the relentless work to get better and how important preparation is.

You know we’ve heard this story before but it’s so unique when it comes from one of the best in the world.

It feels like lightning in a bottle — he’s authentically himself in so many moments and I think you just feel that in this conversation.

Special thanks to Dean Riddle who made this conversation possible while I was overseas on a trip geared towards harvesting knowledge from world class performers, thinkers, and doers.

“Whatever you do, make sure you do it to the best of your ability.”

In This Episode:

  • The balance between being proud of your achievements and humility
  • What allowed him to let go of his initial dream to pursue cricket
  • Setting a vision and having the confidence to pursue it
  • The art of parenting – supporting but not forcing
  • Being your best vs. the best
  • Why he gives it his best shot with anything he does
  • How he managed expectations growing up in the shadow of his father
  • His practice of being detail oriented and battle with perfectionism
  • How he creates positive outcomes for him self
  • The importance of preparation in sustaining success
  • The role of media in sports + using criticism as motivation
  • His view on competition
  • The way to focus for long periods of time // difference between focus and awareness

 

Listen via: iTunes | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

 

Quotables

On his dad’s parenting style – supporting vs. forcing: “The day you stop enjoying something is the day you want to probably stop doing it.”

Philosophy: “Leave nothing to chance.”

“I wasn’t the most talented, but I believe I made the most out of the talent that I had.”

“What’s the point of living if you’re not going to try and achieve anymore?”

“If you’re a liar, you have to have a great memory, whereas if you’re authentic, you’re just being honest.”

“I just want to be as prepared as I can be so when I go into battle, I know I’m ready.”

“It all comes down to… desire.”

“When you don’t concentrate, that’s when errors creep in.”

 

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Want the full transcript from the episode? Click here!

 

References

 

Director of Cricket at

Alec Stewart is a former English cricketer, a right-handed batsman-wicketkeeper and former captain of the England cricket team. He is the second most capped English cricketer of all time in Test matches and 3rd most capped in One Day Internationals (ODIs), having played in 133 Tests and 170 ODIs.