I recently had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Drew Ginn (Australian Olympic Team Triple Gold Medallist and part of the Awesome Foursome). One of the privileges of being a keynote speaker is being able to learn from other speakers – both from the speaking skills, techniques and methodology plus their core messages they are relaying to the audience. Sometimes I take a couple of notes and other times I come away with pages of value and I wanted to share with you some key points from the 5 pages of notes that I took whilst listening to Drew last week.
Drew is one of the most humble and generous speakers I have been coupled with and his core messages to our shared audience dovetailed in perfectly to match the theme of the client’s conference.
How Much Does an Oar Weigh?
One of the things that made the most obvious sense and yet struck a real chord with me is when Drew was talking about how much an oar weighed. He asked us to guess and after some backwards and forwards, the actual answer is apparently the equivalent of 30kgs on each stroke! Drew let us know that there are about 240 strokes in a typical race and that it takes approx 6 minutes. Think about it, 240 full squats and all the time dragging 30kgs inside 6 minutes! That’s one full set every 1.5 seconds!! Try doing that many squats – let alone dragging 30kgs each time!
Make the Oar Feel Lighter
What struck me more than some of those stats is that their primary focus was on making the oar feel lighter – sounded obvious but almost counter intuitive to the old work harder and smarter concept we so often hear about? When everything is gliding perfectly, the team is perfectly aligned and the only resistance comes from the hull in the water, they can actually get the weight down to the equivalent of only 26kgs! When things don’t run smoothly and the rhythm is out, the oar can weigh as much as 40kgs+!!
Pause and think on that for a moment, if you had to lift a weight 240 times in 6 minutes, do you think that it would make a difference if it was 30kgs, 29.5kgs, 26kgs or 40+kgs? Of course it would!
Everything the Awesome Foursome do is about creating better flow, better co-ordination, smoother movement, better alignment, better balance, making the oar feel lighter! This concept has such incredibly relevant parallels for sales.
The ‘work smarter’ concept gets discussed all the time and I have been guilty of saying that you need to work both smarter and harder to be successful. I have met more than a few salespeople that could easily work harder as their typical workload could hardly be considered ‘hard’. There is no escaping the fact that there is work to be done in order to succeed.
Could You Make It Lighter?
Drew’s position is that when you are focused on making the oar feel lighter, it is not about working harder but making it all feel more effortless or easier. Taking that thought into a sales specific perspective, it made me think about whether energy invested in making it easier would result in a better result. How many times have we actually stopped and thought about making it easier – I mean stopped and taken a long look at ways to make the whole sales process glide more smoothly, lightening the load and getting greater distance for each effort we put in?
The Awesome Foursome are hardly slackers, their training regime and dedication to succeed have made them legendary. They still work harder than most but their focus is making it all easier, lighter, faster, better. Very interesting!
Drew said that he has trained over 16 years for the 3 races that lasted a total of 18 odd minutes and won him the 3 Olympic Gold Medals (pictured to the right, 1996, 2004 & 2008). With those kind of numbers, I suppose it makes sense to make it as easy as possible to succeed and enjoy every single second.
As always, your thoughts and feedback are welcome. How can you apply this concept to your world?