06 Making a company work is like team sport

Hello everyone, Welcome to The Nightly Show! My name is Bosslee and I am your host. This is a talk show about life after work. We talk about the passion we pursue after our working hours and we talk about how to get out of the rat race! This is very important because nobody wants to be working for the big man all the time. The problem is that we always think about it but there are no action.

Now today I like share with you about a  team sport that I used to do and how I relate it work. The thing about team sport is that you need to work as a team. Duh, otherwise why would you call it a team sport. The team sport that I used to do was Dragonboat. There are different categories in Dragonboat, you can choose to row in a 10 or 20 man boat and depending if you are a right or left handed, you are assigned your seats.

Although we call it a 10/20 men boat but there are two additional person that are required to make the boat complete. It is the drummer and steerer. So in a 10 men boat race there are actually 12 men on it. So the core 10 men are like the engine, they are to make sure that the boat is moving. Now the role of drummer is to coordinate the rowing sequence of the rowers. If the rowers are not in sync, you can have the stringers man in the team but you will still lose. During my time, NJC Dragonboat team was the best. They are not like your typical Dragonboat rowers who are muscular and heavyweight. They are lean and light but they always outrow many other teams. Simply because they are rowing in sync. They have team work.

The steerer is also very important. They are responsible to keep the boat going the correct direction and keep the boat balance. Sometimes you might have more heavier people on the right side, so the steerer will stand on the left to counter the weight. Imagine your boat keeps going left and right, even your rowers will be tried after a short while. So everyone including the drummer, the engine and the steerer have to work together to win the race.

However, I don’t know why but often team win the race, they will often congratulate the 10 men who are the engine and sometimes forgetting about the drummer and steerer. Yes, these 10 men worked the hardest, they give all their energy to have their boat move as fast as possible but do not forget that it is the drummer and steerer that kept the boat in sync and correct direction. Plus there are times when a team lose, they will blame the drummer or the steerer for the bad drumming coordination / the little left and right swaying.

How do I relate this to work?

Drummer and steerer are like the operation team. They keep the company running and keeping the lights on. When a company is winning, first thing in their mind is the sales team or the commercial team. When a company is losing, first thing they think is the operations or maybe technology problem.

Do you see the similarity?


People forget that working in a company is like a team sport. Everyone needs to be working together. If anyone is not aligned, they should voiced out, they can choose to disagree but commit because we have to look at the company as a whole.

Leaders of the company should pay respect to the operations team. They should not forget that it’s the operations team that keeps the lights on.

What do you think? If you are in the operations team, do you experience the same thing? If you are the frontline / sales team? Ask yourself, when you win, do you remember about your operations team?