Cath Bishop - Olympic Rower and Senior Diplomat


Olympic rower and senior diplomat Cath Bishop is a versatile speaker with key lessons for companies floundering in the rocky waters of business. Sharing practical strategies to help teams make a splash with exceptional results, Cath relays the need for clarity and honesty to achieve success.

Delivering outstanding performance under extreme circumstances is Cath’s lifeblood – both from her gruelling Olympic training regime, which led her to an Olympic-silver medal and World Championship gold, and from her diplomatic posting to war-torn Basra, facing mortars and shells on a daily basis as she tried to bring politcal stability to a conflict-ridden country.

Both rowing and international diplomacy offer effective analogies for developing high performing teams able to deliver in the toughest of circumstances.  After two disappointing Olympic performances, Cath approached her third Olympics with a different mindset and within a different performance culture in British rowing that prioritised daily progress and marginal gains as a way of achieving improved results.  In the diplomatic world, experiences in the Balkans and extensive experience of negotiations under extreme pressure taught Cath further lessons about how to develop high performing and resilient teams.

Cath is a member of the Executive Committee of the Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club, a Steward of Henley Royal Regatta and a spokeswoman for the Women’s Sports Trust. She sits on the Advisory Board of the Surrey University Business School, and is an Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge and the University of Wales Aberystwyth. Cath has been a rowing commentator for Eurosport, the BBC Boat Races and Henley Royal Regatta, is a regular newspaper reviewer on Radio 4’s Broadcasting House, and panellist at the BBC3 Free Thinking Festival.

In a unique amalgamation of her diverse experiences, Cath deftly relates genuine insights into performance, resilience and leadership.

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