PARALLELS between the world of elite sport and business were highlighted at a workshop on leadership during York Business Week.

Led by former FA Premier League and FIFA International referee Matt Messias, the presentation focussed on winning techniques business leaders could learn from professional sportsmen and women to achieve sustained success.

Similarities between sport and business include “the fierce competition, winning by the smallest margin, setting goals, achieving targets, hard work, perseverance and dedication”, he said.

Success stories of people such as David Beckham, Serena Williams and Tiger Woods were shared, along with those of winning coaches and teams, such as Sir Alex Ferguson and the All Blacks.

The delegates were asked to look at their vision and action, what made them successful; how they sustained success, and how that could be transferred into business.

As well as his time as an international referee, the York St John graduate is also a former head teacher, having worked in places, such as Devon and Auckland, New Zealand, before he returned to his roots in York.

He qualified as a leadership coach in New Zealand, and is now director of Matt Messias Impact Leadership Ltd, inspiring and developing leaders across business, education and sport. He is also a positive mental health and wellbeing coach.