Strength in Numbers: What Businesses can learn from The Cycling Peloton

As an avid cyclist who enjoys training with other cyclists, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to lead a peloton.

It takes teamwork and effective, clear communication. Just as it does in the business world.

“Peloton” comes from French origins, and is literally translated as “little ball.” Today, it is commonly used to describe a group of cyclists riding together.

Riding inches away from each other is not as easy it appears. It requires leadership, teamwork, and communication to safely and swiftly traverse uneven roads and distracted drivers.

Similarly, leading teams in a business environment requires holding on to a bigger vision, planning to support that vision, and communicating the plan to other team members. People who communicate, strategize and lead are the ones who enhance the effectiveness of the rest of the team.

For cyclists, the leaders in front of the peloton make it 20 percent easier for the other riders. They have a better view of traffic, road hazards, and changes in direction. They give notice of obstacles and set the pace. This mirrors the role of exceptional business leaders who remove obstacles to enhance productivity in the workplace.

Without clear communication from leaders, the rest of the team is in the dark and exposed to a less-than-ideal journey, be it on the roads or in boardrooms. However, when there’s connectivity, employees understand direction, decision-making, and plans of action more clearly and faster. This inevitably translates to the bottom line.

Imagine riding in a group of cyclists, side by side over rough roads without communication? How effective or enjoyable would that ride be? How safe would be ride? Members of the peloton have a responsibility to communicate because the actions of one have a cascading effect on others.

Sound familiar? Cycling pelotons and business teams have a lot in common.

Few things in life are solo endeavors. We move much faster together, especially when the unexpected pays a visit. Whether it is the surprising inventory issue or a mechanical problem 10 miles from home, there’s value in teamwork.

The good news is, communication skills and teamwork can be learned. It simply takes time, practice, and support.

I believe every individual can learn leadership skills that will propel teams forward at a faster, more competitive pace. It simply takes the desire to be better tomorrow than you are today. 

Peloton Coaching and Consulting, www.pelotoncc.net, can help. If you are ready to discover the competitive skills you need to lead teams and be a superb director sportif, click here to sign up for a free 30-min strategy call. We will discuss your challenges and potential solutions that will make you a better team member and leader to your organization.

casey altman