6 Things I Learned from Sir David Brailsford

I was fortunate enough to attend “an audience with Sir Dave Brailsford”. A fundraising event for Bloodwise in London in November 2015.

As a big cycling fan I have read before about Dave Brailsford’s famous “marginal gains” approach, so I was looking forward to the evening. I found it very enjoyable, and felt he shared some really insightful points that have massive relevance in a lot of other facets of life. Including:

  1. Belief in the ability to achieve a goal has to come first. After that its about mapping the route in absolute detail, and making small steps that take you incrementally closer. (DB cited Jason Queally’s 1km time trial victory on the opening day of the Sydney 2000 olympics as the moment when Team GB cycling began to believe olympic golds were achievable, after decades of underperformance).
  2. Culture is more than words written on a wall, it has to run deep. If done properly, culture can be what helps resolve the argument between two mechanics at 11.30 the night before a race.
  3. Win first, then build a culture around it.
  4. Take the problem to the person – moaning to others in a team can be  corrosive, be upfront.
  5. Success is based on building winning behaviours AND removing losing behaviours. The latter can actually be more important, as there can be a  corrosively negative impact on a team of losing behaviours (vocal moaning etc).
  6. Successful teams don’t have to be harmonious, but its imperative to have complete alignment around the team goal.

Great insights that I believe can be applied to almost any collaborative situation in life

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