When I began really looking at coaching my team, I was directed to a book by a mentor of mine. It is the story of the USA 8 Oar Rowing Team that competed in the 1936 Olympics. Yes this was the Adolf Hitler propaganda Olympics (Jessie Owens etc…) The Story is beautifully written by Daniel James Brown and it is set mostly in one of my favorite spots in the US – Seattle WA. Yes, “Bow Down To Washington!”
This story describes the trials and tribulations of putting a team of oarsmen together from different backgrounds and experiences but mostly with no rowing experience.
Their movement in the shell was at some points terrible and at some points magical. When they found their glide, they moved like the wind. It is a story of a team all moving together, rowing together and moving toward a common purpose, a common goal. Without everyone moving together, they would be less then optimum. They all had to be fully engaged and they discovered things about themselves that only moving beyond what they thought they could endure they could find out. This is how I envisioned our sales team in their development and engagement.
There is an African Proverb that says ” If You Want To Move Fast, Go Alone . If You Want To Move Far…Go Together.” I love this quote and it comes to my mind often.
Our sales team has those characteristics. It has been such a pleasure to watch as our team members move beyond their comfort zones and that which seemed hard, now becomes easier and the next goal is set. Is it always perfect? Hardly, but it is our objective to move the way the boys in the boat did when they were gliding gracefully through waters, sometimes rough and sometimes smooth.
Oars Forward is dedicated to this type of team effort. Check out this book either in hard cover, Kindle or Audible form. If you are interested in taking your coaching and your team to the next level, I encourage you to take in this great read.
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I wish you Good Coaching! Bill