Dublin City University Executive MBA Alumnus, Jason Sherlock addressed undergraduate students of DCU Business School’s New Enterprise Development Programme last week on the alignment between high performing sport and entrepreneurship in terms of ‘growth mindset’.

A gifted sportsman, excelling in basketball, soccer and most significantly as a former Dublin Senior Footballer, Sherlock has gone on to apply the skills learned from his Executive MBA  at DCU to his role as a member of the Dublin Senior Football Management team.  Speaking about transferring his skills in sports to business he told the group of over 200 students that

“Coming out of playing sport I didn’t see my skills as transferable. Education bridged that. It gave me confidence and belief”.

He attributed the process of setting goals, understanding motivation, execution, analysis and thorough feedback as key to business success. He also underlined the personal factors that he sees as critical in a simple ABC formula. These include attention to body, mind and spirit; being vulnerable, and remaining grateful for what you have in life.

Referring to the success of the Dublin Senior Football team he remarked “Dublin is focused on performing to the best it can. You can only control your own performance. You can analyse your competitors’ strengths but you can’t control them”.  Speaking about his role in that success – as a former player and now coach to many former teammates – he highlighted the importance of trust in a leadership role, “The athletes will always remember how you made them feel. Once you have trust – by being present – you can get there. ” Linking back to his MBA education, he noted that to many modern CEOs and business leaders, emotional intelligence and empathy are key to success and that “the skill of a leader is understanding what motivates someone.”

DCU student Daniel Harvey’s biggest takeaway from the talk was Jason’s advice to “Be the best version of yourself”. He followed, “Jason talked a lot about being yourself and trying not to live up to the heights of what other people have done – that we have unique capabilities that we can apply in many contexts. This struck a chord with us as it proved that no matter what happens or where you come from you can make something of yourself. All we need is the right drive and motivation and the possibilities are endless.”

New Enterprise Development is a unique programme in undergraduate business education in Ireland. Coordinated by Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship Eric Clinton, it brings together students from Business and Engineering, introducing students to the new venture creation process. Students form business teams and work on assignments pertaining to problem solving and opportunity recognition, feasibility analysis and business planning.


About DCU’s New Enterprise Development

New Enterprise Development (NED) is a final year capstone module for business students. NED introduces business students to both the theory and the practice of entrepreneurship within the context of new enterprise development in Ireland. The theory provides an understanding of the role of the entrepreneur in innovation and new business formation. The practical section provides an understanding of the processes involved in initiating and developing a new business. It aims to encourage and develop the entrepreneurial skills required for such a venture. It is delivered by means of lectures, tutorials, guest speakers, and assignment feedback.

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