Is account management really all that different to international football? Our new Senior Account Manager Beth has been pondering their similarities during her first week with OBB.

On my first day at OBB I was a bit nervous. My best friend sent me a text reading “Good luck! Do as England do and smash it!” When I was lost walking into the office on my second day at OBB, my mind also began to wander (as it does) to thinking about all the similarities England and I actually had. We were both in unfamiliar surroundings (both of which were associated with bears), had expectations on our shoulders, were finding our feet in a new team, and above all had things we wanted to prove.

My third day at OBB saw England’s crushing defeat to Croatia. Oh dear. On my fourth day (and still lost on the walk in) I had a flick through some articles reviewing England’s performance, all of which hailed their success and character, rather than focusing on frustration at their defeat. The ‘improved England’ seemed to be down to more than just skill – they had changed the way they were thinking.

Investigating this change in England’s psyche further, it became very obvious that much of their preparation had been psychological; a period of development that was encouraging and inspiring them to write their own history.

If my Psychology degree taught me anything, it’s that mental factors always govern a situation; but positive thinking alone doesn’t serve a huge purpose. Rather than just fantasising about the result you want, you have to visualise what you need to do to achieve it. And that’s exactly what England seemed to have done. Throughout the tournament, the team were quoted as ‘excited’ rather than ‘nervous’ as they reframed their emotions and unblurred the lines between positive pressure and pressurised misery. They’d built resilience against psychodramas and had taken positive, skilled steps towards their end goal.

If you know OBB, you won’t be surprised to hear that I was warmly welcomed into their den. Immediately immersed in  inductions, briefings and meetings galore, the team also ensured I was never without a strong coffee to keep me going as I attempted to take everything in.

Anyway, getting back to the point. England could have let pressure and nerves hamper their recent achievements, something that can happen to all of us. As a human, lost on the streets of Digbeth, it was easy to feel nervous. But as a bear, when I finally found the office, there was just excitement.