Brian Cody sets winning standards at Pendulum Summit

Brian Cody at Pendulum Summit. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography.

The most decorated manager in the history of hurling, Brian Cody, said standing still after wins and not looking to improve will be the death-knell of any success, whether in sport or business.

Speaking at the second day of the Pendulum Summit at the Convention Centre in Dublin, the 11-time All-Ireland winning manager with Kilkenny said lessons in sport -- such as setting high standards and never putting limits on yourself -- could be applied to both worlds.

He said he set out standards when appointed in 1998 that was “quickly bought into by the players”, such as arriving for training an hour early to be ready to take to the field.

“You set the tone and the word filters down. It sends out a message,” he said.

Mr Cody said it was a misnomer to “be the best you can be”.

Someone should never satisfied to “be the best they can be”, he said, because it put a limit on what you could achieve by looking for more from yourself.

To the day you retire, he said, you have got to look as to how you can improve.

He said he and the team realised in 1999 after the defeat to Cork in the All-Ireland final that Kilkenny had been beaten by the better team, and there were no excuses or other factors to blame.

The team learned that year what needed to be done to raise the bar and win the title the following year, he said.

He said there was as much to be learned from winning as there was from losing.

What wins for you this year won’t win it for you next year. People are queuing up behind you, and you stand still at your peril.

A team had a binary choice -- be a team full of superstars or a team with none.

“Everyone has to be the same and earn that jersey. It’s straightforward,” he said.

There was little to be gained in wondering what other teams and companies were doing, if you did not have the confidence in your own ability and vision.

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