Teamwork and Roles

An easy to understand example that BA like to use to explain the importance of teamwork and understanding each other’s roles, is that of the Rowing 8. Quite obviously, every member of the 8, plus the Coxswain, must understand their role and that of other members in the team, and they must in turn perform and work together. If there is a weakness, then, the boat fails.

Rowers 7 & 8

In rowing Terms

8 is the stern rower and the most powerful. In conjunction with 7, these two establish the stroke rate and rhythm and they transmit this to the rest of the boat.

Local Government Terms

Council and Councillors are the equivalent of 7 and 8. They determine the direction that the boat is to go by their resolutions they convey their decisions to the Organisation. They allocate resources and set the strategic direction.

Rowers 3, 4, 5 & 6

In rowing Terms

These rowers are the engine room. They don’t have to be as technically aware or reactive to the movements of the boat; they focus on doing the work.

Local Government Terms

These are the Directors and their staff. They concentrate on the directions given and carry out the resolutions of the Council by implementing various work programs.

Rowers 1 and 2

In rowing Terms

These are the two who have the responsibility for the stability and direction of the boat and are the foremost rowers. They have to be quick to react to boat movements and the environment around them.

In Local Government Terms

They are the Mayor and the General Manager. They guide the direction of the Organisation. They have to be technically correct, flexible and quick to react to the multitude of issues affecting local government. They must work in unison and give effect to the direction of the Council.

The Position of Coxswain

In rowing Terms

In a rowing crew, the coxswain is the member who sits in the stern facing the bow. The coxswain is responsible for steering the boat and coordinating the power and rhythm of the rowers. In some capacities, the coxswain is responsible for implementing the training regimen or race plan.

In Local Government Terms

The Coxswain is the Community. The Community dictates the direction it wants the Council to take via the Community Strategic Plan. This then translates into its Operational Budget.

 In summary, everyone is in the boat together and the boat won’t go forward unless everyone plays their part.