Olympic Rowing & Business Growth

Olympic Rowing & Growth Operations

This morning I started my day by watching the Olympics.  When I turned on the TV the Men's Four Rowing competition was on.  Of course, I could no help but think of the similarities between growth operations and rowing.  

The four athletes in the boat were working together in perfect unison.  Towards the end of the race, the American team was rowing at 40 strokes per minute.  If one person on the team slowed by as little as one stroke the other team members would have to bear the burden and pick up their pace.  Picking up the slack is only sustainable for a short period of time.  

Building a team that is focused on winning comes down to three principles.

  1. Clarity - Does every person involved in growth know what their goals are?  Setting this expectation early and often as a team is a key part of growth management.
  2. Desire - Every person on the "boat" must have the desire to achieve the agreed-upon team goal.  How are you observing your team's "desire"?
  3. Camaraderie - Is there a strong sense of community towards a common goal?  Camaraderie is really a reflection of the leadership team's ability to prepare a vision and unite the team.

As you watch the athletes perform in the 2020/2021 Tokyo Olympics reflect on the traits that have helped the individuals and the teams to excel.  Where does your team stand?

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