Boys in Boat

Boys in the Boat! Rowing for Gold

Achieve extraordinary team performance

What high-performance ingredients will move you from challenge to triumph?

Some of the great team attributes that unlock high performance are loyalty and trust, selflessness, lack of ego, and team selection skills.

In the heart of the Great Depression, a dream is born to build a rowing team that will compete in Hitler’s Olympics. Working-class boys from the American West persevere through a strenuous training regime, coaching, mentoring, facing personal demons, cheating and sheer bad luck, to win gold in Berlin at the 1936 Olympics.

This unlikely team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the USA, Italy, Great Britain or the Germans… and they showed the world what true grit really meant.

How did this team pull together to outperform the sum of their individuals in the most trying circumstances, beat the odds and win what was considered inconceivable, unbelievable and unachievable?

“It isn’t enough for the muscles of the crew to work in unison; their hearts and minds must also be as one.”
George Pocock

Ignite team and leadership conversations

  • What would it take to enable each team member to perform to their full potential?
  • How would the team benefit if skills were integrated?
  • How could we identify and overcome performance barriers? Or, as leaders, unlock them?
  • What habits for high performance would bring alignment, synergy, collaboration, trust, loyalty?
  • How would team success be achieved through deliberate practice and mentorship?

Format and Approach

Engage your teams in a multimedia, facilitator-led conversation on Zoom, supported with interactive moderated conversations in breakout rooms (hosted by our team of Pod Coaches).


This case study is available in a 90-minute or 180-minute online (Zoom) format.

How does it work?

  • Contact us to let us know that you want LRMG to share this case study with your team
  • We will work with you to design or customise key conversation and reflection questions
  • Participants will get a link to a pre-case study primer to complete prior to the presentation and conversation
  • Your team will receive our How do I Row? Toolkit as a take-away to ignite further learning and reflection

“What improbable feats can be accomplished when we look beyond ourselves to build an unbeatable team?"

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