Tour de France’s Lessons on Teams: More for HR and Management

by Michael Haberman on July 13, 2010 · 0 comments

As the Tour de France riders slug their way through the Alps in France more lessons for Human Resource and Management become apparent. These include:

  • Anyone on the team can assume a leadership role on a temporary basis as needed by the circumstances. You have to have team your members trained to lead when their strengths are most needed. And the overall leader needs to direct when the member needs to step up.
  • Sometimes the “big picture” changes and you have to be adaptive. Having flexibility built into your plan and your team members will allow you to weather the difficulties.
  • Team members cannot quit just because they are no longer the “star.” Ego has to be supplanted with loyalty to the team and the goal. Even though his chances of winning are gone Lance Armstrong rides on to support the team.
  • There is an old saying and t-shirt slogan that says “Age and treachery overcomes youth and strength.” Knowing how to play the game, knowing the shortcuts will often get you there first. But not always. Sometimes you have to have the strength and stamina to pump your legs to get up the hill. So make sure you team has “young legs” to instill the energy needed.
  • Remember, often what you are trying to achieve is not a one-day race. It is often an extreme event like the Tour de France and you cannot lose sight of your strategy and plan. It just has to adapt.

So there you have it. Lessons from Stage 9 of the Tour de France.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy Missildine-Martin, SPHR July 13, 2010 at 11:59 am

And to your last point about a strategy and a plan…everyone on the team has to be AWARE of that plan. Unlike in some organizations when just the leadership knows the plan.


Michael D. Haberman, SPHR July 13, 2010 at 2:10 pm

You are absolutely correct. Many people are kept in the dark.. managers are using "mushroom management". Often reminds me to the "double secret probation" from Animal House.


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