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Will it Make the Boat Go Faster?: Olympic-winning Strategies for Everyday Success Paperback – 1 Jun 2011
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About the Author
Harriet Beveridge is an Executive Coach and Stand-Up Comic. On graduating from Oxford, she became a Management Consultant with Ernst and Young. She went on to specialise in leadership development and is now a director of an international coaching company and runs helpfulhumour.com, the coaching resource which blends comedy and personal development. Ben Hunt-Davis spent 10 years chasing the Olympic dream. He came 6th in Barcelona and 8th in Atlanta. Since winning Gold at the Sydney Olympics Ben has run a successful corporate coaching company, helping FTSE 100 companies make their 'boats go faster'. Ben is now 2012 Programme Director for the British Olympic Association.
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Interestingly enough, its almost impossible to get a book written about, essentially, how to win an Olympic Gold, so this works on a number of levels.
Worth a read? Certainly.
Actually this book isn't really about rowing at all. Nor is it a dry management theory textbook, or a vague touchy-feely self help book. It breaks down the recipe for what makes a successful team into very focused, specific elements, chapter by chapter, and illustrates each one with a real life example that just happens to be from the world of rowing: the down and ultimately up career of Olympic oarsman Ben Hunt-Davis.
As someone about to start a new job which involves serious management responsibility, I found the advice incredibly useful. In particular, I liked the sections on instilling belief within your team; on what constitutes a clear common goal; about the importance of focusing on the process that gets results, rather than just the result alone; and about continuous learning and feedback.
The book also very helpfully addresses the common problems of perceived lack of individual competence or commitment within teams, which can often be major roadblocks to team cohesion and progress.
Most of all, I thought this book was about challenging the slightly lazy and defeatist patterns of thinking and acting we all fall into from time to time, whether at work or in life in general. Shades of choice theory, positive psychology and mindfulness....
An enjoyable book and worth a read,
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Interesting way of looking at improvements from a "process" perspective, actually makes sense.Read more