7 keys to success learnt early but quickly forgotten

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Whilst spending my weekend in the company of many school aged children it occurred to me that there are many important lessons we learn about success at school and seem to forget soon after. My example is that of a quad scull crew of 14 and 15 year old girls. We would all do well to remember their motivation as we strive for our own success.

1. Make a decision and commit to your mission – these girls decide they want to row and they want to win the coveted Head of the River. They commit to getting out of bed at 4.30am three mornings a week for 16 weeks of the year. Is your team committed to the end goal?

2. Accountability – the girls hold each other accountable. A crew cannot row, let alone win if each member is not at training. They are each other’s accountability buddies, they keep each other focused on the end goal. Does your team encourage one another and hold each and every other member of the team accountable for their role in reaching success.

3. Everyone in the boat is rowing in the same direction – the boat does not move if the crew is not all facing one direction and rowing the other. Does your team know what the success goal is, are they all aligned and moving in that direction?

4. A Cox keeps the team on the right track – without the cox taking control of the boat’s direction there would be minimal chance of success. Are you showing leadership to ensure if the team veers from the target road that you are there to guide them back towards the goal?

5. Unloading the boats, cleaning and putting them away - after a big 12 hours the girls still do the cleanup at the end of the day, there are a few expected grumbles but in general they all work together and the mood is positive and happy. There are always jobs we would rather not have to do, but recognising their necessity to the cause, putting a smile on your face and getting on with the job minimises the pain.

6. Celebrate your wins but don’t forget the end goal – the girls are so happy to win their race but it is not until you hear ‘Yeah we did, BUT guess what? We beat our PB by 5 seconds’ that you realise they are not there for the win alone but to be the best they can be. Focus on small increments of improvement will lead to long term success.

7. Thank your coach – the girls may win their race but they all wanted the coach in their celebratory photo. If there are others who help you reach your goals, who contribute to your success, be grateful and say thank you!

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