EY’s Kristy Ingram: ‘Your Professional Identity Is Yours To Lose and Rebuild’

In this episode of our Corporate Competitor Podcast, Ernst & Young’s Global Leader for Athlete Programs discusses why organizations can benefit from helping former athletes transition to the corporate world.

As a former competitive equestrian athlete in her native Australia, Kristy Ingram had to learn how to make the transition from managing horses to managing people when her competitive days ended. The transition proved challenging, but she accomplished it not by denying or repressing her athletic experience but by drawing from it.

Today, as the Global Leader for Athlete Programs at Ernst & Young, Ingram works with individuals and companies to help connect athletes, especially women, with organizations that can benefit from their skills and experience.

“I think a lot of people who are really talented and could be bringing an awful lot to the equation are missed or passed over because the backdrop is that they were athletes,” said Ingram, who helped launch EY’s Women Athletes Business Network in 2013. Ingram cautions those charged with talent acquisition to dig deeper into the resume stack, beyond those that meet traditional requirements, to discover less traditional candidates.

“At the bottom may be somebody who has competed in two Olympics or an NCAA Division 1 sports program who knows a little something about getting up at 5 a.m. to practice.”

In the podcast, Ingram explains that the transition from athletics to business is as much a profound change of professional identity as anything else. The manager’s job is to help the athlete tap into the qualities that made her successful—resilience, competitiveness, drive and team spirit head the list—and redeploy them in the corporate setting.

Listeners to the podcast will learn:

 • 9:30   Good silence vs. bad silence and how to navigate the balance as a leader

• 17:30  The “introvert pep talk” Kristy gave herself before key meetings

• 18:30  The elements that earn EY a spot on the Best Place To Work list

• 23:30  Who should drive the mentor/mentee relationship

• 30:00  What makes a great mentor

• 39:00  How to be a better listener

This podcast is a must for talent-hungry managers who want to tap into a leadership pipeline with enormous potential, but which rarely appears in routine searches. Have a listen!

Check out the full Corporate Competitor Podcast interview archive and subscribe to new episodes.

Over the last 30 years, longtime Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated and 11-time New York Times Best-Selling Author Don Yaeger has been blessed to interview the greatest winners of our generation. He has made a second career as a keynote speaker and executive coach, discerning habits of high performance to teach teams how to reach their full potential.