Posted: 13 / 04 / 2022

How Be the Standard is giving business owners education, experience and examples from the likes of Eddie Hearn, David Haye, Peter Cowgill, Alistair Campbell and more to be better versions of themselves.

In their quest for victory and elite performance, organisations in sporting arenas worldwide are equipped with the very best support systems that exist for their athletes to thrive.

Nutritionists, sports scientists, psychologists, physiotherapists, analysts, financial advisors and hall-of-fame idols; every aspect of a professional sports athlete’s life is underpinned with a support mechanism to prepare them for their ‘game day’ and push their performance and careers beyond their peers.

However, for business owners – a similarly high-pressured role – the same cannot be said. Support mechanisms for those in leadership positions in the business arena are usually limited to friends, family and uneducated regimes around physical and mental health.

The stats behind this are staggering. The National Institute of Mental Health discovered that 72% of entrepreneurs are directly or indirectly affected by mental health issues. Research carried out by iwoca and Mental Health UK delved into this further, revealing that four out of every five SME business owners report poor mental health, with anxiety (64%), panic attacks (24%) and depression symptoms (37%) amongst the most common complaints.

Enter the field, Be the Standard.

The lack of support for someone wanting to create a business became apparent very quickly to Paul Cheetham-Karcz, the Managing Partner of Sedulo Group. He says:

“I wanted to create something special in business from the start. What I didn’t realise would be most of the problems I would incur would not be hurdles within business, but within myself.

I’m in control of the problems I encounter each day in the business environment; I seem to have a knack of finding solutions for them and they don’t phase me. What I didn’t realise was I’d be in for a rough ride personally and had no answers for the personal challenges I faced. Worse, I had nowhere to turn.”

He added:

“My response over 15 years was to create an infrastructure around me which allowed me to become the best version of myself at that moment.

This structure is a continuous journey of personal reflection, self-awareness, education, discipline, and – more than anything else – a momentum of self-progression. The more I worked on myself, the better behaviours I learned.

From this I was able to positively influence others and become a better leader. In turn, this created a better business.”

The opportunity to work with rugby league’s greatest ever player, Kevin Sinfield, after becoming the official auditors and corporate advisors of Super League giants, Leeds Rhinos, allowed Cheetham-Karcz to delve into the topic further.

The comparisons between the lack of support in business and the plethora of options open to sports athletes gave birth to the idea of a platform combining the elite elements of sport and business as a support structure for business owners of any level; this idea became the development group, Be the Standard.

On the platform, Sinfield says:

“I have been involved in professional sport for over 20 years, both as a player and administrator.

“The challenges I have faced and my experiences throughout have shaped me and provided the best ‘life education’ I could have wished for. Attitude is such an important part of our day-to-day lives – it is the one thing we all get to choose every second of every day. To become a champion in any walk of life, you have to behave and think like one 24/7. Great people with great attitudes can become great champions.

“Be the Standard gives business owners access to education, knowledge and peers to forge behavioural changes that begin at home, with themselves, and then manifest throughout their organisations. As I’ve experienced in my sporting career, we focus on the owner as an individual, helping to utilise learned techniques to create better people.”

The Be the Standard group is approaching its first birthday in Summer 2022 and to date has welcomed speakers including the likes of Eddie Hearn, David Haye, Alistair Campbell, Karren Brady, JD Sports executive chairman Peter Cowgill, Alistair Brownlee, Myprotein® founder Oliver Cookson and more.

The group has also featured regular interactive sessions, giving members a rare opportunity to share their critical personal and business challenges with peers outside of their immediate circles; peers who will have experienced and overcome similar hurdles.

The need and response of the support the group provides has laid foundations for a special Be the Standard: Live session, which is booked to appear at the Leeds Everyman for over 200 guests in June, with tickets going on sale soon.

On the progress of the Be the Standard team and group to-date, Paul Cheetham-Karcz said:

“Kevin Sinfield was the leader of one of the most successful teams in history of British sport.

A man who lead his country and one of the few to have transcended his own sport. Not just a hero to many, but a leader to thousands; he led his club, his team, the fans and the organisation through change, and ultimately unrivalled success.

“Be the Standard harnesses so much of that mindset and experience and brings it to those who truly need it.
As Kevin said Be the Standard creates better people, and better people make better leaders.”