From Dragon Boating to Business Managing

Dragon Boating is one of the sports that when you’re having fun with it, you’ll dedicate your life to it. From there, you and your teammates can read each other’s mind, communicate with each other without verbally saying anything. It’s that amazing!

If our 8 hours a day at the office can be spent as if we are on a dragon boat, making sales numbers at work will be as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

Here’s how

1. Teamwork to achieve One Goal

Dragon Boat – One goal and that is to win the competition TOGETHER. The front paddlers keep good timing, the middle paddlers serve as the engine, and the rear paddlers stay back to react to unexpected circumstances.

Making Sales – One goal and that is to win the deal TOGETHER. Different teams focus on different tasks. In an IT firm, business development team defines business strategies while system developers contribute speedy and quality of work. All standby for unexpected circumstances that come at anytime.

2. Steersman stays low profile at the back

Steersman is key to lead the Dragon Boat goes straight during the race. However, such an important person stays at the very back of the boat. Business leaders define missions and visions for the group, but he doesn’t need to be a star at the front row seat. Successful leaders stay low profile to coach employees rather than micro managing every single matter.

3. Drummer controls the pace

Drummer needs not be strong and muscular, rather he needs to be small but energetic. Drummer controls the pace, but he’s not setting the pace based on his own will. His responsibility is to maintain the pace with lots of considerations – team strategy, paddler’s strength, competitor’s performance, unexpected circumstances etc. He is there to cheer up, keeping everyone proactive and to maintain a positive mental and emotional condition.

As for the business leaders, they are setting goals not from his own will, they should be defining goals that the team members are willing to achieve even though there are challenges all over the place. His role is to coordinate and coach the team members to a point that they are proactively reaching their own targets in all circumstances and at the end achieving the team’s goal.

4. Not to distract by competitors

During a race, knowing competitor’s position is important, but each team has their own tactics based on their own strength and conditions. Do not distract by others when your team is behind. The others may slow down when it’s your time to switch gear.

– Stick with the tactics that has been communicated before the race started

– Trust and follow the beat set from the drummer, he takes lots of consideration (both external and internal) to set that speed. Trust that the drummer will adjust the beat when experiencing unexpected circumstances.

– Each race lasts only couple minutes, pay attention to the timing. Once the beat is off, it could cause a major destruction to the team performance.

Same concept for business management, just change the word ‘race’ with ‘pitch’, and ‘drummer’ with ‘leader’. Stay focus to the goal, trust your teammates and not rushing the projects. Keep in mind that rush and speed have different meanings, quality tells it all.

5. Practice, practice and practice

Practice makes perfect. The 2-minute dragon boat race takes up months to prepare. During the practicing period, members get to understand each other’s behavior, set expectations, trial and error to optimize paddling skills and at the end getting everyone’s mind in sync.

There is no difference to win a sales pitch. The team could go through couple rounds of failure before winning the first pitch. Those are the times when team members get to know each other to have their minds in sync.

Conclusion

I’m a weekend Dragon Boat paddler at Wu Kai Sha, Hong Kong. I believe each person is unique and no one can live alone without interacting with others. I believe Dragon Boating is one of the sports that connects everyone together regardless of race, age, gender and religious believe. Initially, language could be a temporary barrier for team communication, but once the team is formed, we’ll create our own team ‘language’. Verbal communication takes only 30% of our communications, the rest of the time, we read each other’s mind without saying a word.

I spend 40 hours at work every week, way more than the 5 hours dragon boat training during the weekends. Yet, the 5 hours I spend on the dragon boat has generated positive insights to my 40 hours work.

Business Books From The Dragons’ Den

Five of the UK’s leading multi-millionaire, serial entrepreneurs sit on the panel of the Dragons’ Den deciding whether or not to invest in business propositions. Successful applicants are few due to the many years experience of the Dragons whose advice should really be heeded, but often isn’t on the program.

After making their case the pitchees face a grilling from the panel who decide whether or not to take a stake in the company being pitched. Generally, they do not bother as the prudent questioning usually picks holes in the proposal being examined. However, some people do a good enough job to convince one or more Dragons to invest.

The Dragons have vast experience across a wide spectrum of business sectors and anyone who ends up working with one or more of them benefits greatly from their experience and knowledge. They all invest from time to time and continue to look for opportunities. They are not the type of people to stand still.

It follows that if these people are worth listening to the books they write are probably worth reading too. That’s assuming that the book in question concerns their specialty; making profits with successfully run businesses.

It is often said that success breeds success, so if you are a business person and would like to be successful hanging out with successful people like the Dragons would be a good idea. Failing that reading their books would be a viable second option. The question then is which book to choose, or which Dragon’s book to choose.

The obvious choice would be to choose a book written by your favourite Dragon, although a wiser option would be to choose the one with the greater experience in a field closer to your own. Each Dragon has a wide portfolio of business experience but still have specialties; Duncan Bannatyne – Care Homes, Health Clubs/Spa’s; Deborah Meadon – holiday company; Hilary Devey – Transportation and distribution; Peter Jones – technology; Theo Paphitis – retail, property, finance and consumer goods.

On the other hand, each probably has sufficient skills to make a business with potential in any sector do very well, so a particular Dragon’s speciality may not be critical. For most businesses appearing on the Dragons’ Den program, pitching to the panel and eventually getting the required investment is not an option. But spending the time reading one of the Dragons’ books is more realistic and could potentially provide the no-nonsense advice required to give your company the boost it requires for growth in the present economic climate.

The books of the present and past Dragons are readily available, from Amazon and elsewhere, good value and packed with the kind of advice that only years of experience can offer. There’s very little to lose and possibly a huge amount to gain. So what’s stopping you?

USB Microphone for Dragon Naturally Speaking 11

Dragon Naturally Speaking 1 is an incredibly useful tool for businesses and individuals – in terms of productivity gains – but only if you have a quality headset microphone that is capable of supporting the Dragon 11 software.

For those who are unfamiliar with Dragon Naturally Speaking 11 – it is essentially voice recognition software that allows you to dictate to the computer in order to have your words transcribed into text that you can input into most windows programs. This means you can use it with Word and dictate essays, articles, and any other large quantities of text which makes it much faster than writing by hand. On average it is said to be around three times faster than typing normally would be. At the same time though it’s not just quicker than writing by hand, but also allows you to avoid some of the downsides of typing. For instance if you use this or other voice recognition software then you won’t have to be sitting down – you can be moving around and going about other things, for example why not tidy your home or even write something (this would really increase your productivity).

A USB microphone that is wireless like the GN9330e is designed for speech to text software like dragon. Likewise you can use this or similar software in order to write while driving. As long as you are careful to make sure it is all set up first and you obey your local driving laws- then it will be no different than talking on the phone hands free. If you’re not sure about the law in your area, then you will certainly be able to use the combination while walking places (if you have a small netbook). The other benefit of using a USB microphone with Dragon 11 over a keyboard is that you don’t need to look at the screen. If you’re the kind of person who finds they hate sitting and staring at a screen all day as part of their job, then you will be very pleased to learn that you can completely avoid this by using a USB headset and Dragon 11 in order to dictate your work from a distance – while looking out of the window or even doing press-ups.

All of this will increase your productivity and this has hundreds of uses for any business. If you work for a media company then it has obvious advantages, allowing people to work away from their desk and multitask. Meanwhile it can be used for data entry companies – imagine how much more pleasant this could make the job for your staff and how much more work they could get done in the same time and for the same wage with Dragon Naturally Speaking and a quality USB headset. This would hugely increase not only job satisfaction but also profits. For other individuals this can be a great way to surf the web, for students a perfect way to write articles without having to get out of bed, or for writers a perfect way to write a novel – dictating the way that many of the classic novelists would have done. It’s of course also an invaluable tool for those who are disabled and who might otherwise struggle to use a keyboard.

Of course all this is dependent on having a good quality microphone and without a good microphone you won’t be able to make the most of this software. By buying a USB microphone then, you can make Dragon Naturally Speaking run perfectly or any other piece of recognition software giving you around 99% accuracy and serving to be a great investment. The included analogue microphone with Dragon naturally speaking 11 just doesn’t deliver the accuracy business users demand – a quality USB microphone headset like the Andrea NC181VM USB guarantees accurate and fast voice recognition input into Dragon 11 or Dragon Dictate Mac.