A stand-up comedian and executive coach has shared her insights into how North East business leaders can race to success.

Harriet Beveridge spoke at the latest Business Exchange event at Teesside University and shared tips on how entrepreneurs and people in business can apply lessons learned from a gold medal-winning Olympic rowing team to their own lives.

Harriet co-authored the book ‘Will It Make the Boat Go Faster?’ with Ben Hunt-Davis, a member of the GB Men’s Rowing Eight which defied predictions to win gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

The book looks at the strategies used to transform the team, which had previously not won any major international events, into a world-beating unit, and how they can be applied within a business setting.

As well as working in leadership development and executive coaching, Harriet is also a stand-up comedian.  A Funny Women Award semi-finalist, she also has three solo runs at the Edinburgh Fringe to her name.

In a highly entertaining presentation at the Business Exchange, Harriet talked about the importance of layered goals, beliefs, performance versus results and teams.

She also stressed how the Olympic team’s mantra, ‘Will It Make the Boat Go Faster?’, can be used by businesses to maintain focus and concentrate on what is critically important.

Laura Woods, Director of Academic Enterprise at Teesside University, said: “Harriet gave a brilliant, funny talk which really engaged her audience.

“It was fascinating to hear what strategies the Olympic rowing team adopted to achieve success.  Asking yourself the question “Wouldn’t it be amazing if..?” has the immediate effect of raising ambition and confidence.

“Her insights into the benefits of self-belief and performance focus are things we can all use to tackle challenges and achieve results.”

The Business Exchange is a network of senior leaders from businesses and organisations in the North East and North Yorkshire, with events held at Teesside University throughout the year.

Each event features a high-profile figure from the business world, speaking on a topical theme.

This month’s Business Exchange was immediately followed by the Teesside University Staff Conference  “Working With Business”, an annual event that brings University colleagues together to discuss and share examples of best practice in enterprise and business engagement.

The conference included workshops on degree apprenticeships, digital learning, bids and tenders and Student Futures.

For more information on Teesside University’s work with business visit www.tees.ac.uk/business