Last month the whole country was buzzing after seeing Emirates Team NZ win the coveted America’s Cup. Even if you didn’t follow the international sailing event, you probably heard the parades and parties that made their joyous way through every major city.
However, winning the Cup wasn’t all smooth sailing. Team NZ had a whole host of challenges, with very few races going smoothly.
- They overcame a remarkable capsize in their race against BAR, with several members of crew tossed overboard.
- They had small fractures blossom across their daggerboards.
- Their competitors didn’t always play in the spirit of fair play.
Despite damages and losing a race, Team NZ still won the series. This is because when everything else is going perfectly, one setback isn’t the end of the world.
Why Did They Win?
Emirates Team NZ never relied on luck or pushed themselves beyond their capabilities. They were self-confident without arrogance.
The team held itself accountable for every failure and flaw. They planned for success, so when the unexpected happened they knew how to deal with stress.
Now, there was a lot of pressure on Team NZ this year. They were accountable to sponsors, the public, and the other teams; but mostly they were accountable to themselves. Each member of Team NZ felt every loss and win personally and deeply.
This is the key to success, in my opinion; accountability. Being self-aware gives you the power of knowing your limits, and therefore optimising your skillset.
To Whom Are You Accountable?
Is it yourself? Or does someone/something else come first?
I ask this because accountability is something on my mind lately. Knowing how to improve ourselves is easier when we know what drives us, as well as what makes us feel like failures.
Many people believe they’re self-reliant; they are accountable only to themselves. This is fine, but often the easiest person to lie to is ourselves. Do you ever find yourself making excuses to yourself for something that didn’t go to plan?
This is why I’ve set up The Accountability Zone (TAZ), a personal support programme that offers a community – people to be accountable to. I’ll also be there, helping you to stay on track and complete your goals. TAZ is a safe zone, but I also offer one-on-one coaching for those who’d prefer it.
Accountability isn’t a new topic; it’s been evolving and driving humanity for as long as we’ve existed. To help clear up what this new technique is, I’ve made a short history infographic.
Find Your Winning Strength
The challenges Emirates Team NZ faced were enough to stop most people in their tracks; but Team NZ aren’t most people. This was evident from their first race: the cameras panned across the Bermuda’s Great Sound, and zoomed in on Team NZ’s revolutionary power source: cyclists.
For the first time in the history of The America’s Cup, cyclists powered the boat. One of them, Simon van Velthooven, was an Olympic medallist cyclist. Why’d he been plucked off the track and into a boat? “If you have half a brain and you know that your legs are stronger than your arms, why wouldn’t you give it a go?”
When everyone else in the world is pushing with their arms – what are you going to do? You’re accountable for knowing your strengths, and for using them. Plan for success, and account for your failures – that’s the secret to a confident win.