Leading from the front

Leading your team to victory. 

One of the best TV moments for me this weekend was watching the cycling team pursuit finals in Rio. 

It’s visible to see from the athletes in this sector strong, clear and effective leadership skills in action. 

As I watched the heats transpire I noted these, identifying the way all members of team fully understood and immersed themselves in the mission and goals. 

Exploring the detail. 

  • Focus

Everyone in the team including the coaches, riders and support staff have the same goal, to win gold. At this moment no second best is in sight, to even comprehend a silver or bronze, would detract in the effort and ability to deliver. 

  • Preparation

The race from end to end has been meticulously planned out both on practice, on paper and all of the team have the process clear in their minds on what is required of each of them. Collaborative input, consistent approach. 

The strategy is set down and the pillars supporting the ability to win are in place.  

  1. The bikes are set up (tools)
  2. The kit is tested (a good fit)
  3. The start is rehearsed (planning)
  4. The end is rehearsed (execution)
  • Momentum

From the very start of the race to the finish the team work together ensuring that they keep a forward momentum, yet ensure that all of the team are going at the same pace, with the leader setting the timing for the rest to maintain and follow very closely. 

The competition equally are tasked with the same goal, yet will ultimately have their own strategy in place, ensuring they deliver a wield class performance.  

  • Communication

Everyone in the team is aware of what the other members are doing and are able to communicate both through actions, body language and verbally. It’s key that every member remains in tune for a joined up delivery of performance. 

  • Shared knowledge and experience

The leadership in the race takes various forms and is rotated, so that new energy and pace can pull the team further forward. The stage 1 leader swoops to the back of the team and ensures that the pace is maintained, providing knowledge and experience now from the very front to the last person in the pack. 

This rotation continues so that all levels of commitment and experience are able to come through to the front and new momentum delivered, ever increasing the focus on the goal in sight. 

  • Target the competition

The more focus is applied and momentum is increased the more your competition will start to feel your teams pace disrupting them. This pressure can be seen here as track space or share of the circuit is increased, therefore chasing the competition down hard, to make them fail or lose confidence in their teams and personal ability to deliver. Increase the gap and own the race, take advantage and control your goal and it’s achievements. 

  • The finish line

Approaching the finish is critical and even though the team may have done everything to the letter if the planned strategic operation,  it could all be for nothing in a split second if the team do not stay united and in control of their own emotions. 

They started as a team and whilst various leaders have driven the team to their goal, if they do not remain a tight unit, drawing on experience and the common goal of winning, put simply they will fail. All the planning, training, research and execution will have been for nothing. It will then be another four years before they get the chance to try again. 

This is very similar to a product or service pitch to a key client, if you miss your timing and fail, then it may be a long time before the opportunity raises itself again. 

  1. Start as a team finish as a team.
  2. Not one person is stronger than the whole team working together 
  3. Listen and visualise others for both shared best practice, as well as to also be able to add value yourself.  
  4. Be clear on what expected of you. 
  5. Give it your all.   
  6. Share the win. 
  7. Be ready to get called up-to do it all again. 

Whilst this is an Olympic cycling event the leadership and structure is very similar to what you will experience being part of a team and part of a winning one at that. 

Here at Stormley Consulting we understand the requirement for teams to engage and develop, so therefore we are able to work with businesses and their employees, to both engage and develop their unity and success rate through developing them through the stages mentioned above. 

Give your teams podium gold medals and contact Stormley consulting for a bespoke training & development package, related to your customers, your teams and your goals. 

Contact us, follow us, talk to us, at http://www.stormleyconsulting.com

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