Team work and the 2013 America’s Cup

Team work and the 2013 America’s Cup

 The America’s Cup – how team work made the impossible possible!

The Kiwis didn’t see it it coming. 8 -1 in front going into what they thought was the final race to take out the elusive America’s Cup, they had it in the bag! Or did they?

It turns that the bag could not carry the weight! The American’s came back to win the next 9 races straight and take out the prestigious trophy!

So what happened? Team work is what happened, team work.

In his interview after the race, Captain of ‘Oracle Team USA’ Jimmy Spithall said “It really is all about the team. When you’re on your own you’re nothing but when you’ve got a team like this around you, they can make you look great….just a fantastic team effort”. They certainly made you look great Jimmy.

When asked if it was big budgets and deep pockets that wins the Americas Cup, Jimmy replied “It has nothing to do with budgets, it’s about getting the right people and making the right decisions”

But what was it about Oracle Team USA’s team work that took them from nearly done to winning the Cup?

There were two key things that the team did to keep the dream alive;

   1. They acted on feedback

There is no question that feedback is crucial to improving team performance. However it is not just the ability of your team to receive and acknowledge feedback, but it is what the team does with the feedback.

In the case of Team Oracle USA, their feedback was the fact that they were looking down the barrel of a gun and were about to get wiped out by the competition, who had an 8-1 lead. So what did they do? They sat down with the whole team (including boat engineers etc.) and took action on the feedback and answered the questions ‘why are we losing and how can we make the boat go faster?’

  2. They believed in themselves

The team faced up to the situation they were in and made a choice – give in or dig in! They chose the latter, to dig in. When faced with what seemed like an impossible situation, Team Oracle USA backed themselves and never gave up. It was this self belief that they could win, which kept them going.

Questions for you and your team;

What does your team do with the feedback they receive? Does your team work in a supportive environment that facilitates self belief?

How can your team achieve the ‘Greatest comeback of all time?’

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