One of my favourite things to do every summer is to watch the Tour de France. Not just on the television but to be able to stand at the sides of the roads in the scorching heat of Southwest France and cheer on the peloton (main group of cyclists) in person. And this summer was no different.
Like many of the locals and tourists we set off early to find the best spot and waited and waited and waited. First comes the Caravan showering individuals at the roadside with free gifts, hats, bags, sweets, and much, much more, promptly followed by a few peloton lead support cars, closely followed by numerous Gendarmerie on their motorbikes. And then everything goes quiet. And the waiting recommences.
Finally, the helicopters start circling overhead (this is always the giveaway that the peloton is coming) and the excitement starts again and then within a few seconds the peloton whizzes by before your eyes.
But, that’s not the end of the Tour de France. What promptly follows are car after car after car containing trusty members of the support team, additional bikes and medical teams.
What’s evident, therefore, is that the gift of winning does not just sit with one individual, but is made possible by the support, encouragement, guidance, tactics and strategy of many.
This year’s winner, Geraint Thomas (very many congratulations by the way!) clearly demonstrating that for many previous years he’s been a key member of a winning team, often being the pillar of support enabling others to win and succeed. This year, however, he proved to be a stronger rider, and it was his teammates that supported, made way, and enabled him to take the victory and to wear the yellow jersey to victory.
The leadership lessons taken from an event such as the Tour de France clearly demonstrate that a successful team is made up of many components: strategic thinking, support, guidance, determination, and a positive outlook to succeed. Take a moment to reflect upon your own successes, how did you achieve them, who was there to guide you and encourage you? Remember, winning often isn’t about the success of one, but the contributions of many.