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How Important is Leadership for a Winning Boat Race Team

Thursday, 6th April 2017

By, GBS Corporate Training

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This weekend Oxford men made it four wins in five after beating Cambridge in the 163rd Boat Race, Cambridge women's team crushed their rivals by 11 lengths in a record time.

In the boat race, every member of the crew plays a vital role. The cox is the voice in the boat motivating and calming the eight-man engine and steering the boat into the fastest-flowing part of the course. The stroke sets the pace throughout the race, but must make sure the rest of the crew are able to stay with them over a course of this length.

Speaking before the boat race, Cambridge team member, Pat Eble outlined how all the crew brought their own set of technical and Leadership skills to the race:

“I try to be a Leader as much as I can, and I think what’s special about this team is that, yes, we have Lance as president and Ben as vice-president, but we all do a good job feeding off each other’s Leadership skills. I tend not to be the most vocal at the top of the bandwagon, but we all feed off each other’s strengths and that’s important”.

Having great Leadership skills is one of the key ingredients to putting together a winning team. Morgan Gerlak, chosen to row as part of the winning Oxford Boat in the 2016 race said:

"On the water it’s about thinking differently about challenges – you can’t always brute force your way through – in rowing and in the classroom. You need to think about it from different angles".

In Business, just like in the boat, Leadership is the major factor that makes everything and everyone work together seamlessly. Without Leadership, all other Business resources are ineffective.

Keep the boat moving forward - Why Leadership is Important

Leaders have great charisma. They set clear goals, are determined and purposeful in achieving them and are backed up with an unshakable self-confidence.

Leaders radiate enthusiasm and are truly excited about what their teams are doing

People are naturally drawn to them, and will follow them.

They are also invaluable when it comes to formulating and communicating new strategic directions, as well as communicating with and motivating employees to increase dedication to organisational goals.

Leaders can effectively manage their own work, manage employees, and make sure the team is working cohesively. A Leader is someone that stays calm under pressure, and stays focused on their end goal.

A common problem in Business is that staff members can find themselves promoted to managerial positions overnight, with no previous experience of Leadership and little understanding of how to manage their teams.

It may seem like some people are just gifted with these skills, but the truth is most Leadership traits can be learned and sharpened with time and practice.

Customised, effective Leadership training with GBS

Whether you need to put together Leadership training for Managers who have recently been promoted, or existing Senior Leaders who want to elevate their performance to the next level, GBS will work with you to put together a training programme tailored to your needs. Visit our website to find out more about our customised learning provision

GBS is the sole UK provider of Situational Leadership® training. The Situational Leadership® model is arguably the most recognised, utilised and effective Leadership and influence tool in the history of the behavioural sciences.

Click here to find out more about Situational Leadership® training.

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