09: Five-Time Olympian Frances Houghton on Teamwork and Leadership

On Episode 9 of the Rhinomind Coaching Podcast, I’m joined by five-time Olympian Frances Houghton, formerly of the Team Great Britain Rowing team. From Sydney in 2000 to Rio in 2016, Frances won three silver medals and multiple world championships during her time in competition. With her towering 6’4” frame and ability to build high-trust relationships, Frances physically and spiritually wrapped her arms around her teammates during her career.

On this episode, Frances shares incredibly insightful leadership and teambuilding lessons from her 20+ years of experience competing at the highest level. As Frances transitions out of the world of elite competition, we also hear about what’s next for her, and her dream for what is possible in developing people through sport. 

The best teams I was on didn’t have leaders or someone who stood out, but every single person on the team was an indispensable cog.
— Frances Houghton

Show Highlights:

  • Frances’ background and the love of rowing began at age 11 when she was tired of not being successful in other sports [4:50]

  • What happens when you clearly define who you’re trying to become---and a key moment that organized Frances’ life around a goal [11:17]

  • Shifting your mindset from the awe and wonder of “being there” to focus on the competition, with the process sandwiched between the passion moments [15:45]

  • Frances on connection, trust, and vulnerability in building teams [31:42]

  • Frances’ last Olympics, her new perspective and leadership role, and making it to the podium [36:41]

  • The transition to “life after sport” and what’s coming up next for Frances [39:47]

  • Frances’ dream for what’s possible in sport [46:11]

Resources:

www.thetrueathleteproject.org  

Find Frances on Twitter: @houghtonfrances

Todd on Twitter: @rhinomind