By Sian Fryer ProProcure 30th July 2019
What can triathletes teach us about company culture?
We’re all super proud of our CEO, Frank Treanor for competing in the GB Age Group team at the European Middle Distance Triathlon Championships earlier this month. In 30 degree heat in the middle of Transylvania, the team faced a 1.9km swim, an 82 km bike ride and a 20 km run. He must be crazy, right?
I’ve always found the determination of long-distance runners very admirable, so triathletes – in my mind – are just on another level. But the question I couldn’t help asking myself when I saw some photos from the race was: why do people put their minds and bodies through so much strain to compete in an event? Is it the sheer feeling of accomplishment they get when crossing the finish line? Is it the discipline and determination that goes into the training process? Or maybe they’re all just chasing adrenaline?
Let’s find out from the man himself:
“Of course, the sense of personal achievement from representing your country is incredible, but as the saying goes, “there is no “I” in team”. The GB athletes wouldn’t have made it to the start line without an incredible management team which is made up of volunteers wanting to give back to their sport. What is also so important, was the tremendous camaraderie amongst the GB athletes themselves – offering lifts, spare bike parts, and pretty much anything else a fellow athlete might have forgotten or needed. Of course, it’s fiercely competitive once the racing starts but even then, there is always encouragement and support to fellow athletes when the going gets tough, and it really was a tough day- it’s this collaborative effort and team encouragement that brings in the real win! “
“The process of training for and competing in a championship triathlon actually has many similarities to general business and company culture. In both cases, as an individual you strive to be the best you can at what you do – planning your precious time, constantly developing and strengthening skills and recognising your weaknesses. Showing respect for fellow team-mates and the competition is so important – there is always something to learn by being inquisitive and starting a conversation, and remembering to not get too caught up in any particular moment, or take yourself too seriously. The 13 mile run at the end of this race was the toughest I’ve done because of the heat on the day, and I remember passing a fellow GB athlete who had a massive grin on his face – he said that it helped “ease the pain” so, taking him at his word, I tried it and it did work! (although judging by the stares from spectators I must have looked like a grinning maniac).”
We all know that a team of people can achieve far more by working together than one individual can with only their own skills and determination – having the chance to collaborate and learn from others can make the difference between just getting the job done to a podium finish.
What we have learnt at ProProcure is that our best results always come when our team works closely together. The success factor within a team that is significant to obtaining the best result is often cross-functional chemistry – a real team culture – it is so important for us at ProProcure to have a great relationship between team members, coaches, and other teams.
One of the best things about sports is being part of something bigger than yourself – working with a team, learning, improving and overcoming challenges. A winning team needs a winning culture. Here at ProProcure – this is what we have.
The GB team in Transylvania