This weekend, the world’s largest annual sporting event came to Yorkshire. As we walked from our house to the route, I was amazed at the crowds and the buzz of excitement. Although the riders would pass in less than a minute, some spectators had travelled miles to stand for hours waiting for that flash of brightly coloured jerseys. Like so many others, I returned home to watch the rest on TV, completely hooked.

I spent the evening reflecting on the Tour de France and realised that this world famous race holds 5 key business lessons:

1. Play The Long Game

The 2014 Tour is a 3,664 kilometre race. If there is a breakaway from the peleton on the first day, it isn’t the end of the world. It is all about the overall team strategy. A business example here would be Apple. There is much speculation about the iWatch and when it will be released but Apple will not be rushed. For them, it is about quality & design. Other brands have released their wearable offerings but Apple remains quiet. If your strategy is right, do not be rushed into a kneejerk reaction and make mistakes. Play the long game.

2. Play to Each Individuals Strength

Each of the 9 members of a Tour team have a job to do, they have a specific skill set that they bring to the team that suits different challenges on the tour. More importantly, each member of the team knows each others strength and works hard to amplify the strengths of others when required to maximize success.

3. No Room For Passengers

Every member of a successful Tour team has to show up and to give their all. If anyone is caught being a passenger, they should expect some challenging conversations. Those hoping to ride the draft of others in a successful team should consider moving on before they get that inevitable tap on the shoulder.

4. Be Race Ready

To succeed in the Tour, the cyclists will train intensively to cope with the rigors of the race. Good preparation gives the team the greatest chance of success. In business, it is easy to get wrapped up in the day job but personal development is critical to be well prepared for the challenges of the future.

5. Manage Your Energy

The Tour is pure example of endurance and the need to manage energy levels. Cycling for 5 hours and then having to sprint the last few kilometres requires focus and careful energy management. Within business, mental and physical endurance is critical too. Know when to recharge your batteries and be ready for that sprint to the finish.

I am sure there are many more lessons that can be gained from such an amazing sporting event… feel free to add them below.

Yorkshire did an amazing job at hosting the Grand Depart and managed to showcase a beautiful part of England. You can find out more here.

As ever, thank you for reading and sharing.

Kevin