A cunning plan, fearless optimism, incredible people going for it!

This is what it takes to lead a team to victory according to Ian Walker, winner of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Watch his key learnings.

cunning plan, fearless optimism

Ian Walker is a double Olympic silver medalist, who dedicated ten years of his life to winning the Volvo Ocean Race and skippered Abu Dhabi team to victory in 2014-15. He is a legend in sailing and an outstanding leader. Here are his key learnings from his experience:

cunning plan, fearless optimism

“Leadership is crucial to success and is essential to winning the Volvo Ocean Race. You’re managing a team that has to perform superbly to win. And you win by collaboration and continuously learning.When we won the Volvo Ocean Race in 2014-15, we had learnt the lessons from previous races. It began by hiring the right people. We wanted a crew that would bring out the best in each other – a harmonious group of people, rather than just a talent-led selection. Teamwork, not necessarily individual talent, is the key.

Communication is so important, because information is power. People like to know what’s going on – and when. Planning, before and after the race, is crucial. Plus the team must respect and help each other, and me, their skipper. I also believe in leading by example. You have to be a role model. You have to keep the level of motivation high, even during difficult times. The boat – or the company – will only do well if everyone on board is also doing well.

It’s also easier to lead a team when you’re winning. Performance and team happiness are inextricably linked, whether it's winning a yacht race or working for company with real momentum and whose sales are booming.”

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