How to achieve success under pressure

by Tania Wannenburg
Gary Bailey_Jnl1.14

One of the highlights at the SA Flooring awards was an appearance by guest speaker Gary Bailey. Bailey, who is a well-known television persona in South Africa (he was a presenter for MNet’s SuperSport), gave a keynote presentation entitled How to achieve success and be great under pressure.

Bailey had a successful football career in both England and South Africa. He played for Manchester United (which placed him in an extremely pressure-filled environment). “Playing for Manchester United was tough enough but, as goalkeeper, it was massive pressure,” said Gary.

Gary told the architects, flooring manufacturers, suppliers and designers at the event that it seems that a lot of time and effort is currently being spent on attempts to help companies in the flooring industry (as well as the greater construction industry) survive the current harsh economic conditions. Through his years of experience he gained extensive knowledge on how to perform under pressure.

“Companies in the building industry are trying everything to keep their businesses afloat – from new strategies, to improving and even restructuring. But very little time and money is being spent on helping individuals remain efficient and successful under huge stress and pressure,” said Gary, before launching into a few principles that are needed to achieve success during tough times. Gary’s keynote presentation was centred on five great principles that help people and teams succeed under pressure:


“Gratitude, for example, is something that many people forget about when they’re under pressure. It’s so important to always be grateful for what you have – because you can’t be grateful and unhappy at the same time,” said Gary, before moving on to another key principle he called “reframing”.


“If you’re scared about a challenge, you will never perform at your full potential, so you need to reframe the situation. Whatever is going on in your business that you are scared of – turn it around and reframe the situation,” said Gary.

Emotional intelligence

One of the most crucial aspects of emotional intelligence is observation. “The ability to notice and be aware of others will help you understand your customers’ needs,” said Gary.


Change is constant and if you don’t adapt, then you won’t succeed. “Change the mental script that’s holding you back, respect all cultures around you and accept that you need to keep learning,” said Gary.

Team work

Team work takes energy. Raising one’s energy in order to help others and to create good team energy can be achieved through exercise and better eating. “Make the effort to understand your team’s dynamics. Set goals and create a culture of success within your team,” said Gary.

Gary’s presentations usually include a 1 – 2 hour workshop session that ensures all delegates get to create their own action plan for themselves, and for the company.

“They say that if you do anything consistently for 30 days it becomes a habit, and so all delegates commit to practising their action plan for 30 days and then I can virtually guarantee you that there will be a marked improvement in the success of your team,” concluded Gary.

The guests and the editorial team at Floors in Africa found Gary’s keynote presentation inspiring, entertaining and motivating. For more information on how to achieve success and be great under pressure, visit www.successunderpressure.com or www.garybaileyspeaks.com.

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