Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Leaderboard 2016 Hot Seat – Martin Hardy, Partner Account Manager

June 28, 2016

This week we have Martin Hardy, Partner Account Manager in the Leaderboard Hot Seat. He’s very passionate about giving back and taking part in Cisco’s vast charitable activities. He has some interesting answers for some of our questions and his team seem like there are in for the win. 

Why are you getting involved in the Leaderboard Triathlon Challenge?

I see these events as an important part of my work life balance and a perk of my job. It’s not just in sales that we need something to aim for! Additionally, it’s also great that the Gold Partner team that I belong to has rallied around to provide a very respectable and diverse team. We don’t need to win the event but we need to beat the commercial team!

Were you interested in triathlons before, or has this event spurred your interest?

I have competed in the Sport Relief Green Park Triathlon for years now. I have to confess that Phil Smith was somewhat inspirational in that I thought “If he can find time to do this stuff so can I”. My main passion however is cycling as I find it incredibly therapeutic

What excites you about Leaderboard this year?

It’s great that there will be a huge number of Cisco folks competing and I suspect that it may become a little competitive but also there is a lot of fun to be had. We have a secret weapon though in Neil Bernstein who took part in this year’s London Marathon

Why do you think Sport Relief is such a success?

I believe that human beings are very tribal and Sport Relief creates an instant tribe with values that we can all relate to and aspire to. As a mental health first aider, I can also tell you that giving is a very important part of maintaining your mental wellbeing and the good news is that can even include giving to yourself.

If you could choose to be a famous sporting athlete who would it be and why?  

Daley Thompson the decathlete. He won the decathlon gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984, and broke the world record for the event four times. To be that good at that many disciplines makes you the top of the tree in my book. Who wants to be a weedy runner!

How do you think technology can change/enhance sport and sporting events?

Let me tell you how it has affected my life. Technology has changed the way I work and freed up my day such that I can keep fit conveniently throughout the week as well as the weekends. Up until my mid-forties sport was something other people did.
Recent times I have seen just how important the technology for measuring progress is to keep people motivated. At Park Runs on a Saturday I am now surrounded by friends who have got the technology bug to keep improving their times

If you had to be a drones or an eagle for a month which would you choose?

An eagle of course as it controls its own destiny

Name one device or piece of technology you couldn’t live without

My daughter always laughs when I say this but it’s clothes. We forget that so much we are surrounded by was once the latest technology. Each generation accepts what they are brought up surrounded by as normal. Understanding that concept makes me very comfortable that young people are very different to myself in their usage and acceptance of technology.

Whats your proudest sporting achievement?

Completing a stage of the Ride across Britain. 107 miles and supported by Cisco colleagues who made the whole day one I will never forget. When I tell friends about it they all say that they want to come and work for Cisco.

If you instantly gain a new sporting talent what would it be and why?

Boxing. Have you tried boxing? I can’t breath after 3 minutes, it is incredibly intense. I would of course only use my new found skills for good.

Is there any team rivalry developing ahead of the big event?

We were just mildly competitive until a late team entry from Richard Roberts and Rob Price who we are now targeting as a “must beat” team

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