cover art for E201 -  Steve Hare: Remaining calm through chaos with the UK's highest rated CEO

The High Performance Podcast

E201 - Steve Hare: Remaining calm through chaos with the UK's highest rated CEO

This is the first episode of our Leadership Series, sponsored by PwC, in which we will be diving deep into what it really takes to be a CEO.

Steve Hare is a businessman and CEO of Sage Group PLC, the leader in accounting, financial, HR and payroll tech for small and mid-sized businesses. With over three decades of experience in the industry, Steve shares with Jake and Damian his insights into the business world, including the benefit of being older in business, how to face the challenges of being CEO and the key advice he would give young entrepreneurs.

Prior to Sage, after achieving his career ambition of reaching CFO below the age of 40 (one of the youngest in the FTSE 100), Steve was asked to leave 18 months later. Although this was one of the lowest moments of his career, Steve shares with Jake and Damian the invaluable lessons he took away from this experience. They discuss how to hire good people, the ‘Waiter Test’ and how crucial a “team comes first” culture is.

Thank you to PwC for sponsoring this special CEO Series. PwC’s purpose is to build trust and solve important problems, and their global strategy - The New Equation - is bringing this to life for their clients, people and society. By combining technology with human ingenuity, passion and experience, PwC works with organisations to deliver more intelligent, sustained outcomes.

More episodes

View all episodes

  • How to win the Ryder Cup with Luke Donald, Paul McGinley and Sam Torrance (E216)

    This is an open discussion about leadership, creating culture and what makes a winning team.To mark the 2023 Ryder Cup in Italy, Jake and Damian host a roundtable discussion with current European captain, Luke Donald, and legends, Paul McGinley and Sam Torrance. As Team Europe Ryder Cup captains past and present, they offer a unique perspective on leadership, team culture, and the winning formula that defines this prestigious event. They debate what makes a good Ryder Cup captain and the ways they get the best attributes from their players.Luke Donald shares his experiences under different captains and how this has now influenced the way he interacts with his players. He shares his key lessons from his first 13 months as captain, including battling imposter syndrome. Paul McGinley and Sam Torrance consider how they change the way they create a sense of comradery in the current digital age, in contrast to team meetings taking place in their captain’s bedroom back in 2004.Paul and Sam reflect on their choice to not include Luke in their 2014 team. They share what went into this decision and what elements need to come together to create a winning team.This Ryder Cup roundtable is a deep dive into the art of cultivating an open and communicative team, finding the delicate balance between talent and performing under pressure, and defining the legacy that extends beyond the competition itself. Whether you're a sports enthusiast, a leader, or simply seeking inspiration, this episode offers valuable lessons on what it means to lead, build culture, and win as a team at sport’s highest level.Download The High Performance App by clicking the link below and using the code: HPAPP
  • The price of high performance

    A common thread that runs throughout the hundreds of conversations on this podcast is the idea of sacrifice. In this episode, Jake and Damian explore what the price of high performance really looks like. Although success looks great on the outside, it can come at the cost of collateral damage and difficult decisions. Looking back on their conversation with Dame Kelly Holmes, when she shared the impact sacrificing her mental health to be at the top of her game had. They reflect on their discussions with Stephen Hendry, Rylan Clarke and Sir Ian McGeegan on the consequences of their drive to success. Episodes mentioned:Eddie Jones: Dame Kelly Holmes: Jonny Wilkinson: Stephen Hendry: Rangan Chatterjee: Rylan Clark: Sir Ian McGeechan: Richard Dannatt: Download The High Performance App by clicking the link below and using the code: HPAPP
  • Facing death taught me how to truly live with David Smith MBE (E215)

    “Paralysis taught me how to live”This emotional conversation is an honest and vulnerable discussion about life, death and understanding our purpose.In 2010, David Smith was given a life changing diagnosis: a rare, cancerous tumour was found in his neck. A focused athlete, previously competing in karate, running and bobsled, David aimed to put all of his energy into competing in the 2012 Paralympic games as a rower; “I didn’t have time for a tumour”. But, after having surgery on the tumour, David suffered a stroke. This was the start of a new life for David.After multiple surgeries and a number of complications, David is now fully paralysed on his left side. Despite winning gold for Rowing with Team GB at the 2012 Paralympics, what really stands out is David’s appreciation for every moment, his resilience, and his deep understanding of what it means to really live. In the face of battling cancer and living with paralysis, David's unwavering commitment to his purpose and daily philosophy shines through. He shares the importance of embracing vulnerability and the preciousness of time. A total of 6 major life-threatening spinal surgeries in 13 years, 6 weeks of radiotherapy and learning to walk after each operation meant his sporting career became more about staying alive than winning medals. David shares his profound wisdom with Jake and Damian, exploring how he is attempting to come to terms with death and how he finds strength in vulnerability. We’re left with the core of David’s message: “I’m not scared of dying, I’m scared of not living.”This was recorded in front of a live audience at Happy Place Festival, there may be some background noise. Follow David's journey here: Download The High Performance App by clicking the link below and using the code: HPAPP
  • Barry Hearn's 10 Life Lessons - Handpicked

    Barry Hearn joined the podcast in 2022 to share his 10 life lessons. In this episode, Damian shares with Jake the top 3 lessons he learnt from Barry; the ones he still uses in his everyday life. These 3 lessons include, "it’s better to be lucky than good looking", "life is not changed by sitting on the sofa" and "life is going to end in tears, so you might as well make the most of it".Jake and Damian reflect on these lessons and the way Barry’s version of high performance can be utilised in our daily lives. Episodes mentioned:Barry Hearn: Books mentioned:The Luck Factor by Richard Wiseman: Download The High Performance App by clicking the link below and using the code: HPAPP
  • Building the world's most successful rugby team with All Blacks legend Steve Hansen (E214)

    This week’s episode provides a rare glimpse into the mind of a coaching legend Steve Hansen, revealing the key to success in the world of rugby and beyond.Steve is a New Zealand rugby union coach and a former player. He famously led the All Blacks to victory during the 2015 Rugby World Cup as their head coach, a role he held from 2012 to 2019. This is a reflective, honest and vulnerable conversation with one of the world’s best coaches. Steve offers insights into his time with the All-Blacks, sharing his experiences coaching the greatest rugby team in history, and the task of redefining the concept of progress while sitting at the top of the world rankings.Jake, Damian and Steve delve into the strategic mindset he brings to coaching, sharing five thought-provoking questions he constantly asks himself and his team:What’s our identity and our legacy?How fast can we learn about what’s going on in the game?What are the places we’re struggling?How fast can we adapt when things aren’t going our way?What is our biggest goal?They discuss his competitive and pride-driver alter-ego, Stanley, and how he has learnt to control this side of himself, offering valuable insights into the complexities of leadership. By prioritising simplicity, trust, and self-awareness, Steve explores how we can create a blueprint for high performance in any endeavour.This episode was recorded at the Rugby Premiership Final at Twickenham, there may be some crowd noise in the background.Download The High Performance App by clicking the link below and using the code: HPAPP
  • Reflections on the Rugby World Cup | Clive Woodward, Dan Carter, Siya Kolisi, Eddie Jones, Sam Burgess, Danny Cipriani and Eddie Jones

    To mark the start of the Rugby World Cup, Jake and Damian reflect on the conversations they have had with some of the most influential people in the game. We have been lucky enough to go into the training grounds, stadiums and dressing rooms and to hear the innermost thoughts of the key players past and present.Hear from Sir Clive Woodward on the power of the individual in a great team. A former teammate of the legendary All Blacks, Dan Carter shares the details of the team meeting in which they decide they were going to be the worlds most dominant team. Jake and Damian consider the honest and open conversation they had with Siya Kolisi, who described what winning the world cup meant for all of South Africsa. As well as the above, we hear from some of the greatest players of the game, including Sam Burgess, Danny Cipriani and Eddie Jones.
  • How Europe's youngest top-flight manager learned to BACK HIMSELF with Will Still (E213)

    Will's story is a testament to the power of authenticity and resilience in the world of football management. Will Still is a professional football manager and former player, currently managing Ligue 1 club Stade de Reims. Aged 30, he is the youngest manager in Europe's top five leagues, and first became a manager at age 24. Will shares with Jake and Damian how he deals with outside pressure and how his commitment to honesty, vulnerability, and staying true to himself has been his guiding force. After dropping out of university in Belgium, Will moved to the UK to pursue a Football Coaching degree. Despite the culture shock, the move cemented Will’s commitment to a career in football. They discuss how his style as a manager has developed since he first started, with vulnerability and honesty always being at the forefront of his work. Will discusses what it was like to turn down a job offer from Vincent Kompany and how a quiet self-confidence is crucial to his work. This is a conversation about passion, commitment and authenticity. Will's journey reminds us that the road to success becomes much easier when we begin embracing our true self.Download The High Performance App by clicking the link below and using the code: HPAPP
  • Lessons From The Month with Dr Waheed Arian, Katherine Ryan, Fernando Alonso and Peter Attia

    August was filled with perspective changing and vulnerable conversations about what high performance really looks like. Jake takes a look back at some of the key insights from our guests over the last month.Dr Waheed Arian challenged Jake's ever-shifting view of what high performance really means, by sharing the obstacles he overcame when moving from war torn Afghanistan to the UK at age 15 to become a doctor. Jake and Damian discussed how our biggest mistakes can make for our greatest achievements, with comedian Katherine Ryan.Formula 1 legend Fernando Alonso opened up about the true price of high performance, and Jake learns what Fernando would do differently a second time around. Our final guest of the month, Peter Attia, changed Jake's outlook on life with his idea of the centenarian decathlon.Listen to the episodes mentioned:Dr Waheed Arian: Ryan: Alonso: Attia:
  • How to be fit forever with Peter Attia (E212)

    This episode contains the roadmap to a longer, healthier life.Dr. Peter Attia is a physician, focused on the applied science of longevity and on a mission to unlock the secrets of extending human life. In this episode, he takes Jake and Damian through the 5 pillars of health, exploring the impact of nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress and supplementation.These five essential aspects of our lives are the building blocks upon which our overall wellbeing is constructed. By analysing each of these pillars, Peter explains how they can be utilised to transform our lives and overall health and wellbeing.Peter provides tangible actions that your future self will undoubtedly thank you for. Discover how setting goals for the final decade of your life can become a powerful source of motivation for making positive changes in your life today; “the seeds you sow in your youth, are the same flower that come to harvest later on”. Peter discusses how to improve your emotional wellbeing, including finding honest, fulfilling relationships and being able to properly regulate your emotions.Download The High Performance App by clicking the link below and using the code: HPAPP