Howard shared lessons of how to survive in a high-pressure environment under intense scrutiny. Howard opened by talking about some of his controversial decisions, and of how having your integrity questioned can really ‘get under your skin’.

 

Howard talked about how doing his job well meant that he wouldn’t be noticed, and that he would be ‘anonymously competent’. However, that means that he need to be prepared to be involved and visible when necessary. The keys to success:

  • Preparation: knowledge, fitness, and mindset – focusing on what you can control rather than what you can’t
  • Teamwork: The assistant referees are often seen as just ‘linesmen’ but their skill is a major contributor to successful refereeing, and great communication is essential
  • Performance under pressure: Refereeing involves making difficult decisions and there are plenty of situations which create intense pressure. You can prepare and train for these difficult moments.
  • Decision-making: You have to be passionate and be prepared to make the big decisions, to have an opinion and have the courage to act on it and this often comes from trusting your gut instinct.
  • Reflecting on performance: Critically re-watching matches to reflect on performance and to learn. Every decision is logged, and Howard talked about how it is important to focus on the right decisions as well as the wrong ones (otherwise you would lose confidence and self-belief)

We need: Passion, Vision, Determination, and Courage.

 

(This was live-blogged during a session at the HR Directors Business Summit in Birmingham, UK – #hrevent16 – I’ve tried to capture a faithful summary of the highlights for me but my own bias, views – and the odd typo – might well creep in.)