Yes, you probably know how I am in awe of Team GB’s cycling unit. And in particular their ‘performance director’, head man Dave Brailsford.
I saw him interviewed on the BBC sofa overlooking the Stadium and Orbit and yet again inspire.
He sees his role akin to that of an orchestra conductor. Which would be interesting to anyone that buys into the Miller-Heiman vibe of top salespeople needing to be “strategic orchestrators”.
He sees his job as creating the optimum conditions for people to perform. Or as he repeatedly put it;
for people to be the best that they can be
In full, he once added, “how can you get someone to peak at a certain time, for them to be the best that they can be?”
He is further renowned for the drive to win through the
“aggregation of marginal gains”
This intriguingly builds on the rugby World Cup clinching coach Clive Woodward’s ‘Winning’ philosophy. And how he tried to improve 100 things 1% each.
A friend ably summed this up to me recently as
small steps, big strides
One current article deliciously highlights the beauty of his approach.
From the man himself;
“Traditional coaching is very much dictate and control and a lot of it is about the coach.
If you ask people, ‘do you like to be told what to do and if it doesn’t go quite right, do you like to be shouted at?’
Why do we think in sport that is going to get the best out of people, because it’s obviously not.”
Substitute the word ‘selling’ for ‘sport’ here and what do you get?
And I love the emphasis on honesty.
Players must honestly assess where they’re at. Someone must give them a black and white assessment. They must realise where they need to go. And track themselves along that path.
I can hardly think of a single sales manager that I’ve ever met who fosters such a winning environment.