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Business lessons from dragon boating

Over the weekend Intergen once again placed in the grand final of the Wellington Dragon Boat Festival. After the initial euphoria I started to think about some of the key learnings from this event that could be transferred into the workplace.

So here are my four musings:

1) Team Intergen beat many teams but one win stood out. We were up against an all-male team of senior grade rugby players, all big guys with big muscles. Physically, we didn’t quite compare yet we beat them which leads me to reflect that a good cohesive team will typically beat a group of talented individuals.

2) In the heat of a race sometimes when you need a bit extra you just can’t go past a bit of shouting. While there are many theories about leadership and management that extol the benefits of listening, reflection and more subtle influences there are situations when the adrenaline is running that some primal screaming is called for. As the Duke of Wellington once probably never said, "There is only one way to win a war, shout, shout and shout again!” Granted, this one may not be that transferable to the workplace, but perhaps when the going gets tough some internal motivation can be achieved by a silent "COME ON!"

3) Team Intergen took three seconds off their best time in the final. How could we achieve such an improvement in one race? Well, sometimes it is knowing that there is no second chance and that there is not another race to come. Knowing that the pressure is on and your best must be delivered can produce an enhanced result. I was proud to be part of a team that gave it everything and left nothing in the tank. There is nothing as satisfying as looking around you and realising that everyone in the team committed and everyone gave it their best. So, I guess we should always treat what we are doing as the final.

Finally, on reflecting further I realised that there was one more point that is perhaps the most important of them all:

4) Teams don't make it to the final if they don't exist. A team can only form and compete when someone takes the step to organise a team and get the entry forms in. No amount of effort and shouting will produce a result if you are not even in the race. So a big call out is deserved to the two people that make the dragon boat team exist, Celia Voysey and Matthew Batten. It is down to their efforts and organisation that we had the chance to sweat, scream, shout and paddle till we dropped. Thanks!!

Not only does joining the dragon boat team give you huge muscles, a good time, camaraderie and medals around your neck, you also get learning opportunities with it. 

Intergen Raptors - dragon boat team

Go the Raptors! Go team Intergen!

Posted by: Myles Buckland-Jones, Practice Manager | 13 March 2018


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