Although fears over the delta variant meant Q3 began with a false start it finished incredibly strongly with us delivering a sales performance that was better than January 2020. A true sign that live events are back.

I want to thank Gareth Southgate for the letter he penned to the nation before the Euros back in June as this inspired my “thought” for the last quarter which I shared with the company. Even though HeadBoxers are not all England football supporters and a good number of us take no or little interest in English football there were some important parallels I wanted us to reflect and draw on as a team as we went about our business during the summer months.

In particular I felt we could learn from Southgate’s leadership, his desire to transform the England football team – in our case it is our desire to transform the events industry – and most importantly the importance he places on values to create a culture of excellence and professionalism both on and off the pitch. So this is what I said:

“I want to share a passage from his letter but I encourage all of you to read it if you haven’t done so already.

This is a special group. Humble, proud and liberated in being their true selves. 

Our players are role models. And, beyond the confines of the pitch, we must recognise the impact they can have on society. We must give them the confidence to stand up for their teammates and the things that matter to them as people.

I have never believed that we should just stick to football. 

I know my voice carries weight, not because of who I am but because of the position that I hold. At home, I’m below the kids and the dogs in the pecking order but publicly I am the England men’s football team manager. I have a responsibility to the wider community to use my voice, and so do the players.

It’s their duty to continue to interact with the public on matters such as equality, inclusivity and racial injustice, while using the power of their voices to help put debates on the table, raise awareness and educate.

It is clear from this passage that his leadership has encouraged an environment where the England players can be true to themselves. He has given them the belief and confidence to express who they are not just as footballers but as people with their own individual and diverse backgrounds, to celebrate this and their own thoughts, ideas, opinions and beliefs as a force for good, to set an example both on and off the pitch.

It is clear that this is driven by a strong set of personal values, beliefs and behaviours that he has also set for the team. That he judges success not just by how they perform on the pitch but also how they perform and behave off the pitch. That he judges success not just by the outcome but also very much by how you get there, how you behave and conduct yourself and the example you set along the way.

Creating that environment where you can be yourself and bring your whole self to work is how you drive high performance as a team.

It is clear how important this has been in transforming the England team, why they have been successful and will continue to achieve even greater success.

I think it is very similar for us at HeadBox. The importance we place as a team on our values, beliefs and behaviours and creating an environment through love-based leadership where you can be yourself and bring your whole self to work.

This is what will drive our ability to transform the events industry.

This is what has bound us together in what has been one of the most challenging periods of our lifetimes.

It is also what will continue to bind us together in pursuit of this higher common purpose.

And it is what will continue to drive our success and why ultimately we will prevail.

Take this into every part of your life and you will be successful, you will be true to yourself and you will be happy.”

The importance we place on our values and behaviours at HeadBox means the team responded yet again with an awesome performance in Q3 and it reminds me how fortunate I am to work with such a brilliant group of people. Bring on Q4!