“How to win the Jersey Dragon Boat Race” by Prosperity 24.7 aka Prosperity Pirates
As most islanders are probably aware, the Prosperity 24.7 team surprised a lot of people by winning last year’s highly acclaimed Jersey Hospice Care – Dragon Boat Race. The intended purpose of this article is twofold; firstly, to act as reminder for the Jersey Polo club to ‘watch out’, but more importantly with charity in mind, we thought we might offer some of last years ‘trailing’ teams some much needed advice by highlighting some factors that we feel were critical to success which you might also be able to apply in business as well…
Firstly it is important to note that we do take this event pretty seriously, Chris and Simon felt it imperative to retain as many of last year’s winning team members as possible, so much so he even offered one of the winning team members a job with the sole intention of securing his participation for the 2014 event – nothing to do with his enticing Project Management skillset or ability to write this article (cough cough).
As you can imagine, a vast amount of planning goes into ensuring that the 16+ team turn up at the Albert Pier at 8.30am in full Pirate splendour, having donated to an immensely worthy charity and not to the beer festival the night before although they may get to see the team after the event should we somehow defend our title!
As with all things in life and business, Team selection is key.
We take the time to compare all of the Pirates and position them in the seat which best suits their strengths and next to the next best match from a physical and mental perspective. All the team are briefed and agree on the approach for the day ensuring the boat is well balanced and team members can remain focused delivering the objective of the day – to pull in a single direction with purpose, cheer and a desire to lead the way.
Strong leadership is imperative in any successful team and whilst Chris ‘shoulders the parrot’ for all shore based activities, he is happy to relinquish leadership duties to the drummers or other experts whilst out at sea. All of the Prosperity team appreciate a metronomic rhythm to row to, which is provided by Chris’s lightweight protégés Toby and Marisa’s Son, Zach. Without them, sea shanties led by Rob Quinlan would definitely lead to distraction and no doubt a soaking!
Following each nautical endeavour we analyse our performance, identifying lessons learned and applying new tactics before the following race, sometimes this involves tough decisions such has moving people around the boat or worse, asking one person to step aside to allow a more suitable person to participate and contribute. This ensures continuous improvement throughout the day and in no doubt led to last year’s remarkable (HMS) Victory.
Finally, and should all our planning come to bear, our abstinence will no doubt come to an end and we rightly celebrate our successes amongst the team with a bottle of grog or two from the CAMRA beer festival on dry land, singing shanties and telling tales of woe into the small hours.
Whilst we hope the Prosperity Pirates will be victorious for a second year in a row, in reality this falls by the quayside, safe in the knowledge that Jersey Hospice Care are the real victors and that we have made a valuable contribution to the Island and its people.