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Five Keys to Success from the Best-selling Author of The Boys in the Boat

June 13, 2017

Daniel James Brown, author of The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, was one of the speakers at ULI’s 2017 Spring Meeting in Seattle. Recalling a life changing meeting that sparked his journey into researching and writing Boys in the Boat, Brown went into detail of his first conversation with Joe Rantz. He gave Brown permission to write about both he and his teammates, rowing for the United States in the 1936 Olympics, and the events that encompassed the race. However, Brown’s initial request to write about Rantz and his personal life preceding the race, which is awe-inspiring in its own right, was denied. Joe Rantz lived through the loss of his mother as an infant, being orphaned and abandoned in the wilderness as a young boy, The Depression, WWII, and winning a gold medal in rowing against the UK, Italy, and Germany alongside his fellow teammates from Washington University at the 1936 Olympics in Germany preceding the war. That hard-earned victory, and the events leading up to that monumental race are the core of Brown’s book which offers five keys to success in life. Those examples and lessons are illustrated in the form of perseverance and resilience even in the face of extraordinary adversity, trust and respect for your teammates which grows through overcoming problems and trials together, absolute focus on the task at hand, earnest pride in your work, and finally – being humble and knowing that you can overcome and achieve more together than individually. Though the context is very specific, the lessons are universally applicable to any form of teamwork.

Five Keys to Success from the Best-selling Author of The Boys in the Boat