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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars

on 8 May 2017
Entertaining,easy to follow,relatable .
Interesting way of looking at improvements from a "process" perspective, actually makes sense.
Very immersive, as you feel yourself walking in Ben's shoes/rowing the boat.
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on 27 August 2013
with lots of useful hints and tips for focusing on just what counts to move forward. The blend of Olympic story and how this translates into the work/life setting provides for an engaging read
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on 4 August 2011
I first spotted "Will it make the boat go faster?" in the Henley Regatta shop and feared it would be just another book about a rowing crew that won something (which, given one crew always has to win any race, isn't really all that interesting...)

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....
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on 27 March 2017
Good business self help book / personal development book! Highly recommended.
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on 13 January 2016
I have read a number of sports books over the years,but I truly believe this is the best. The format is really fresh and thought -provoking, and the manner in which the authors apply the experiences of the crew and coaching staff to everyday life is extremely engaging. It is a book I find myself referring to again and again...I think it is an awesome and inspiring read!
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on 3 November 2015
I purchased this book as it was recommended to me by a business colleague. I work both in sport and business psychology and found this book very useful. The book breaks down performance into simple, easy to understand segments which has allowed me to apply it to my ongoing work. I would highly recommend anyone working in business or sport to buy this book.
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on 17 November 2016
I applaud Ben's talent and dedication to the cause to train as he did to be in the rowing team and achieve the Olympic success but the book is just not up to the mark, alas. The book starts with a rather chippy statement on page 1 about the selection policy in the rowing squad and doesn't really recover from there.

I've read any number of books on teamwork and personal organisation and have attended quite a few courses whilst employed by large companies; unfortunately I can't see how this book stands out from the crowd, other than with the rowing anecdotes. Having said that, my experience of corporate life is such that any teamwork courses will lead to improvements so good for Ben and Harriet for bringing those improvements.

I was somewhat flummoxed as to how the experiences of a few very fit, talented and ultra-aggressive young men would translate to the corporate world; I am not sure I'm any the wiser after reading. It is perhaps unfortunate that their method to win the Sydney final was to ignore the work of the previous 24 months on 'process not results' and change tactics completely less than 24 hours before the race. On the other hand...... maybe it was their closeness, openness and teamwork that enabled them to believe and to switch their approach without rehearsal to such good effect - the book didn't answer that point.

I have to say, though, that this didn't really provide any benefit to me other than a useful catchphrase to lob into corporate conversations from time to time.
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on 23 September 2013
I thought it was about time that I reviewed “Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?” I initially read it from cover to cover, referred to it endlessly, and I am now reading it again.

Have you ever had a crazy dream? Something that you want to achieve that seems tantalisingly out of reach? Nothing could be more extreme than spending four years aiming for a goal that could only be achieved on one day and in less than five and a half minutes.

But the Olympic 8+ rowing team did achieve their crazy dream. They were the first British 8+ rowing team to win an Olympic Gold Medal in Sydney in 2000. And this compelling book explains how they did it. It is a personable account of the highs and lows of their journey. But the magic of “Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?” is that it translates the far-fetched, other worldly aspirations of Olympians into take-away chapters for real life. After each gripping chapter describing Ben Hunt-Davis’s Olympic experience is a chapter summarising the lessons that can help you achieve your (perhaps) more humble dreams. In this way, the book covers topics such as goals, motivation, how to filter out unhelpful information, dealing with change and overcoming setbacks to name but a few.

I had no interest in rowing when I picked up this book, but I found the information about the rowing itself fascinating. I have recommended this book to rowing fans as well as people who are just looking for some inspiration to help them with business or with life.

As Lord Digby Jones, Former General of CBI and Minister of State for Trade and Investment is quoted as saying on the back cover,

“I challenge every Business woman & man in the country not to take something away from this big contribution to Business thinking.”
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on 1 June 2015
Although I tend to read quite a bit, there are not many books that fall into the category of 'I couldn't put it down'. However, this book, for me, is one of the exceptions. I read this in a weekend. The way the book is structured, gives it a flow and makes it easy to follow. Each chapter is divided into two halves, in the first part Ben recounts some key moments in the quest for Olympic gold, followed by Harriet who puts context around what was going on and provides some great practical tips to help apply this in your own life. My personal favourite is the 10 minute rule, which I have applied in a variety of different ways. It is also quite encouraging to find out, that even an elite athlete like Ben, had off days and sometimes struggled to get up in the morning to complete his training schedule. A great book, well worth the investment!
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on 28 May 2016
The plethora of 5 star reviews here make it seem like this book to be a godsend but the its definitely not the best motivational book out there. Whilst it tries to be different by being half biography of a rower and half analytical of his practices, I found it got a bit stale and repetitive half way through. It seemed like there were really only a few sentences in most analytical chapters worth reading - particularly the analytical sections. Undoubtedly the relentless determination of the rower is quite inspiring (albeit in a really boring sport that only gets attention because of its prestige - how come no one says with the same reverance that they do canoeing?). There a few useful tips here (the phrase "flick the switch" for getting out of bed). However I cant say i got much out of this book and ended up flicking through the last third of it.

Think Chimp Paradox is a much better book or Jack Canfields books
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