I was commuting when I heard that Team NZ had overtaken the Italians in light wind winning Race 7, and were leading in Race 8 of the America’s Cup Regatta. The Southern motorway was slow, perhaps even slower than the breeze on the Waitemata Harbour at the time.
Then a “disaster” was announced on the radio as Team NZ had come off their foils and Luna Rossa were sailing ahead, looking certain to win Race 8 and equalise the best of 13 series once again. With Team NZ limping to the finish line 4 minutes behind Luna Rossa I dispiritedly entered the supermarket carpark for groceries.
Imagine my surprise on returning to my car to find that Team NZ had won Race 8 by almost 4 minutes while I was shopping… HOW?
It turns out that in the finicky conditions Luna Rossa had also fallen off their foils in a spot where there was little breeze and they could not get foiling again easily, which gave Team NZ a chance to power past them to win Race 8… potentially a turning point in this 2021 America’s Cup Regatta.
There are lessons here for business:
- Treat every day like a new race – past performance does not guarantee the future
- One mistake doesn’t mean it’s over – maintain your composure and continue forward
- Stay the course and don’t give up – if you’re breathing there is still opportunity to win
- Choose your sails carefully – match your strategy and tactics to the conditions
- The best boat / idea / business model won’t necessarily win – preparation, skill, execution and persistence are all important
- Mental toughness and pure doggedness are a key to success.
As Team NZ commented about the regatta after Race 8: “It is a marathon and not a sprint!”
And so is business.