I have read a very large number of books that help one to develop strategies and action plans to help one clarify and reach life and work goals. Many of them are extremely good. This book by Olympic rowing gold medal winner Ben Hunt-Davis and executive coach Harriet Beveridge is quite the best I have ever read.
Whether you are keen on sport or not, whether you have your sights set on becoming a chief exec or just an all round decent human being, the stories and ideas in this book will significantly help you on your road. Ben’s stories of the effort, trials and sheer guts employed by the GB Men’s Eight in reaching the top of the podium at the Sydney Olympics for the first time in nearly a century of British rowing are an emotional roller coaster that will inspire even the most exercise phobic amongst the audience. At each stage Harriet, then draws out the practical lessons that can be made use of by normal human beings to make a significant difference to their lives and the world they seek to touch. The book is so much more than a story or a recipe book for success. The messages in here will profoundly affect many who read it.
From a personal perspective, I have already made use of the inspiration and practical ideas to refocus my own goals, strategies and tactics – the proof of that pudding will be in the eating but I am grateful to Harriet and Ben for their contribution.
… and if you want a real “fix” of adrenaline and emotion that sums up this extraordinary book then check out the YouTube clip of the 8+ final at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3_6-VwUPUg and compare it with the last chapter of the book.
David Vachell – Amazon reviewer
Will it make the boat go faster? – it’s a simple question and goes to the heart of the matter – stay focused on what you’re really going for. This book by a supreme athlete – but also a real team player – can show you how. Ben is a naturally modest man but what he has to say has the authority that comes from supreme success. Listen up!
Ian McDermott – International Teaching Seminars
No business library would be complete without this book. I thoroughly recommend it.
Dr Richard Ward – CEO Lloyd’s
A fascinating and inspiring book.
Lord Sebastian Coe
A book that is well laid out, easy to read and packed with practical business advice based on the methods Ben’s team used to achieve their Olympic success. Having highlighted essential passages, I find it simple to dip into and apply on a regular basis. It is now customary for us to ask ourselves throughout the day, ‘Will it make the boat go faster?’ and adjust our actions accordingly. Since applying these principles our business has increased month on month.
Maragaret H – Amazon reviewer
An inspiring journey, thoughtfully translated into practical, everyday lessons that can be applied in virtually any situation. The book makes the point again and again that ordinary people can achieve truly extraordinary things.
Helen Weir CBE – Group Executive Director, Retail, Lloyds Banking Group
Bold, ballsy and brilliant! Whatever your circumstances, this book will help you perform to your potential. I recommend this book to anyone who has a dream.
Kate Pocock (nee Allenby) – Modern Pentathlon Olympic Bronze Medallist
I loved it. It’s a real page-turner – and how often has any management book been called a page turner?! Ben and Harriet have written an uplifting book that convinces you that anybody can improve without having to be an Olympian. It’s beautifully written: no jargon, just nice, simple, straightforward English and a lovely informal, self-deprecating style. It’s also very practical and sensible – the advice here can apply to anybody in any walk of life.
Harry Gaskell – Managing Partner, Advisory Services, Ernst and Young LLP
A truly fantastic book. Lots of inspiration from this book went into our World Championship win.
Frances Houghton – Women’s quadruple scull, 2010 World Rowing Championship Gold Medallist
A fascinating story of the powerful passion of one man to get to the top of his sport and the winning strategies we can all learn from his experience, whether we are aspiring to be successful Olympians or simply better managers.
Lord Kirkham CVO – Founder and former Executive Chairman of DFS
This is one of those very rare books that when you finish reading, you just know, without any shadow of doubt, that life will never be the same again.
Malcolm – Amazon reviewer
I challenge every business woman & man in the country not to take something away from this big contribution to business thinking.
Lord Digby Jones, Former Director General of the CBI
This is an outstanding book both for business and life. I have read many, many leadership and personal development books over the last twenty years and this is by far the most engaging AND practical.
It covers goals, motivation, taking risks, change and importantly how to filter out unhelpfulness from others. The story of Ben winning his gold medal in Sydney is nothing short of miraculous and really gripping. I am not interested in sports but this had me hooked right until the end. I found I was implementing many of the tips in this book after only a couple of chapters and it was making a difference to me.
Excellent book and I will continue to dip in to it.
Fiona – Amazon reviewer
To get inside the mind of an Olympian is a privilege. To share the worries and anxieties, the camaraderie and the highs, is rare and this book gives us a ring side seat. But the real bonus is that it is all then made relevant to our lives, to our business space. I challenge every business woman and man in the country not to take something away from this big contribution to business thinking.
Lord Digby Jones – Former Director General of the CBI & Minister of State for Trade & Investment
I know first-hand the immense pressure of competing in an Olympic Games and the dedication it takes to get on the podium. This book conveys the drama, the heartache and the pride with spine-tingling detail – it will have you on the edge of your seat. The book is also packed full of useful advice, not just for sports people, but for anyone looking to up their game.
Roger Black MBE – Olympic 400 metre Silver medallist
I love the driving thought behind this book: If you are an Olympic rowing team, then if what you’re doing doesn’t make your boat go faster, then don’t do it and do something else that does. Now take that idea and apply liberally to your life and business.
John G “Muscleski” – Amazon reviewer
This book is an excellent repository of tools, techniques & approaches that are all about people being able to bring out the very, very best in themselves, irrespective of who they are or what they do – what makes it work for me is that these have been developed and put to real use in the context of Ben’s great achievement in Sydney, where he and his fellow Olympians did indeed bring out the very, very best in themselves. I have seen Ben speak many times, he brings these things to life in a very personal & compelling fashion.
David Owen – Managing Partner, Consulting, Deloitte MCS Limited
Every Games has its heroes, but behind every celebration on the podium lies thousands of hours of hard training, relentless mental focus, and choosing to get up each morning before the rest of the world in pursuit of that something extra which just might give you the winning margin in an Olympic final. Ben Hunt-Davis’s stories in “Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?” brilliantly illustrate the dedication required to become a gold medallist, and how the lessons might be applied more widely in our lives. It’s a fascinating and inspiring book.
Sebastian Coe KBE – Double Olympic Gold Medallist & Olympic Silver Medallist
An excellent ‘do it yourself’ organising for success book. Essential for full time winners! Personal yet professional.
Kate Hoey MP – Former Sports Minister