Rugby ace Steve McNamara gives talk at TEDx event

York Press: From left, Gary Gallen, managing director of Hessle-based law firm rradar, rugby ace Steve McNamara and Mark Ronan, headmaster of Pocklington School, at the TEDx Pocklington event From left, Gary Gallen, managing director of Hessle-based law firm rradar, rugby ace Steve McNamara and Mark Ronan, headmaster of Pocklington School, at the TEDx Pocklington event

SEEKING out talent in hidden places was the theme of a talk given by England Rugby League head coach Steve McNamara at Pocklington’s first TEDx event.

Drawing parallels between life on the pitch and life in business, Mr McNamara was speaking at Pocklington School at the conference-style event aimed at bringing together people from the worlds of technology, entertainment and design.

The theme for the event was Learning Attitude, with a focus on challenging approaches to education and learning, discovering how we learn and what inspires us.

Having just led England to the semi-finals of the Rugby League World Cup, Mr McNamara talked about his approach to leadership.

In his talk Talent That Whispers, Mr McNamara shared how he built a strong team around unifying purpose, nurturing talent, bringing out the best in people and removing barriers to success.

He said: “It is really important to look for the talent that is not obviously in front of you. In sport anyone can pick out talent on a pitch, but the real skill is looking at what is underneath that performance.

“We look at current performance instead of current potential. Skills for spotting talent in sport is all relatable to spotting talent in business.

“It is very easy to fall into the habit of looking for the same types of people in the same places. When looking for talent it is important to look at different routes and broaden your horizons.”

Mr McNamara spoke alongside a host of other guests from all walks of life including education, inspiring schools, the NHS and business.

The TED initiative was founded in 1984 and has been taken up across the world, with TEDx events bringing together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, with the aim of sparking deep conversation and connections.

TEDx Pocklington organiser Gary Gallen, who is managing director of Hessle-based law firm rradar, said: “I’ve been to TED events before and I liked the thought provoking ideas and discussions.

“I wanted to show that small places are capable of having big business events like this too. When I rang to register it with TED, which is based in America, they had no idea where Pocklington was and couldn’t even find it on a map.

“When I told them about spreading the idea to smaller places they thought it was a great idea.

“We have had a lot of interest, and as well as support from North Yorkshire we’ve had people travel from Scotland, London and Wales.”

Mr Gallen said guests speakers and themes have already been lined up for more TEDx Pocklington conferences in 2014.

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