Someone who inspires me…
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover!”
– Mark Twain
Two of my greatest passions are Blackmores and competitive sailing, so it is little wonder that the numerous metaphors that align business performance to yachting resonate strongly with me.
Sailing and business are both impacted by who is ‘at the helm’, the tactics employed, adaptation to changing external conditions, the effectiveness of the team, the ability to read the conditions – the analogies are endless.
A couple of years ago, I invited Victor Kovalenko to speak to a team of business leaders within Blackmores and he did not disappoint with his wise words.
The Australian Sailing Team Head Coach, Victor is known as ‘The Medal Maker’, a title the humble Ukrainian-born coach is embarrassed by.
He has a unique gift for getting the best out of people. He brings high levels of discipline to the teams he coaches. He is never complacent about the success of his teams after a win and sets new challenges and reshapes his approach to achieve greatness.
He is currently working with Mat Belcher, Rolex World Sailor of the Year who won gold in the London Olympics, and Will Ryan, an up-and-coming talent. Mat and Will are the current world champions in the 470 yacht class.
I’m proud to be part of the supporting team and love seeing a wind-filled spinnaker sporting the Blackmores brand.
Victor has said, “I think of life and use it as a role model. Life is like a big race – sometimes you win by skill, sometimes you are lucky to meet interesting people and learn from them.”
As a sailor and as a great Australian, Victor Kovalenko is someone I’ve learned from. He places as much value on character and friendship as skill and discipline. He knows that in sailing, as in life (and business), there is skill and technique but it is feeling and passion that will take you over the line first.