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Will It Make the Boat Go Faster? – Part One

We like to keep you up to date with the latest news from the world of business finance. In addition, we also want to help you run your business more effectively by sharing helpful tips, tools and tactics we’ve come across and are using in our own business.

One thing I try and do is read a business book each month – so that means you get through 12 a year. But rather than just skimming through it, I tend to take my time, by underlining and marking sections that I’ve found helpful and want to refer back to.

This Month’s Gem

A book I’ve just finished over the summer is called “Will It Make the Boat Go Faster?” co-written by Ben Hunt-Davis and Harriet Beveridge.

Ben was an international rower, having rowed for GB in several Olympic Games. His rowing career culminated in winning Gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. He now runs a successful performance coaching company and is a much in demand keynote speaker.

Harriet has been a performance and leadership development coach for several years working with such companies as Boots, Ernst & Young and Barclays.

The premise of the book is the idea of taking tried and tested Olympic-winning strategies, learning from them and then applying them in our own business setting.

The book begins in 1998, when following another disappointing regatta in Cologne, Ben Hunt-Davis and the rest of the GB Eight rowing team realised that if they carried on doing what they were doing, nothing would change, and all that would happen is they would just keep on getting what they’d been getting – which was a lot of 7th place finishes!

So instead, they decided to take a long, hard, critical look and analyse what they could do differently.

The result was from then on, and while preparing for the Sydney Olympics, they made strategic decisions about everything they did: technique, diet, training regimes, working as a team, by asking one simple question:

“Will it make the boat go faster?”

On the journey to Gold in Sydney, the guys learnt what worked and what didn’t. Through hard analysis and not a little soul searching they discovered and learnt the skills, tactics and strategies that took them to victory in Sydney.

Having retired as a rower, Ben took the winning techniques he’d learnt as a rower and applied them to business. As Ben himself says: “For so many of us we struggle to identify the critical factors that would transform our careers, our businesses, and our lives. We spend too much time doing the things in front of us – wasting a lot of time doing the things that aren’t making a difference, rather than tackling the things that matter.”

For Ben, the ultimate goal was to win Gold in Sydney. And what he and his fellow crew members discovered was that making the boat go faster came down to what they did day in, day out.

Every day, in every aspect of their training, they challenged themselves by asking the key question: is what we are doing going to make the boat go faster?

Hence the book, in which he and Harriet, introduce and share tried and tested Olympic-winning strategies designed to help business owners like you “To Make Your Own Boat Go Faster!”.

It’s a fascinating read and next week I’ll share some of the lessons I’ve learnt, that I’m starting to apply to my own business management and business finance. In the meantime, if you want to find out more click here to visit Ben’s website.