I know nothing about rowing, yet I like reading books about this sport because the necessary ingredients for success are similar in business and for the leaders who steer them to never-ending finish lines. Accordingly, CFO Bookshelf was thrilled to interview author and rowing coach, Dan Boyne.
Episode Highlights with Dan Boyne
- Dan shares how he got started in the sport of rowing.
- He went to Trinity College where he tried out for the team. Dan was built like a cross-country runner and barely made the team because of his lightweight frame.
- Lightweight crew turned out to be the perfect sport for him due to his aerobic capacity, height, and weight.
- We learn who the perfect coach for Dan was — a gentle giant, nothing like Bill Belichick.
- Dan got his start in crew coaching at Tufts University in Boston. That was also a source of inspiration for his book later on regarding women’s rowing – The Red Rose Crew.
- Dan talks about being a rowing instructor at Harvard and how he instructs CEOs focused on team building who ultimately learn the sport is harder than it looks.
- You can start rowing at any point in your life. Dan describes two doctors in their seventies who have never rowed, and now want to compete.
- One female rower started at the age of 58 and won the Charles Regatta.
Discussion Points about John Kelly
- John (senior) was a larger-than-life man who grew up poor in Philadelphia.
- He was good in all sports and could have become a professional boxer, but loved rowing.
- He was denied a chance to compete on the grandest stage of rowing at the Henley Royal Regatta.
- Kelly became a millionaire through his brick contracting business.
- He cleaned up Philadelphia politics.
John’s Son Kell
John B. Kelly Jr. won the race his father was never able to compete in. While the father experienced gold medal success at the Olympics, the best Kell could achieve was a bronze in his third Olympics competition.
Kell was not not the only other famous child of the Kelly clan. One of the sisters was Grace who married into royalty in Monaco after a successful but brief acting career.
The Eight Special Female Rowers
- ESPN is planning on producing a full-feature film on Dan’s book, The Red Rose Crew.
- Social acceptance evolved slowly in women’s rowing – even when these athletes experienced success, they still came back home to their universities where the facilities and equipment inferior.
- Dan explains how change took place, but more work is still needed.
Some of Dan’s Favorite Books
There’s no way that we will let a guest get away without sharing some of their favorite books.
Dan is a big fan of mysteries and detective stories. His favorite author in that genre is Philip Kerr whose protagonist is Bernie Gunther.
Dan is also a fan of Thomas Hardy and he especially likes humor. One of his favorite books is My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell.
Books by Dan Boyne Mentioned on the Show
This is the first book I read by Dan, and yes, I recommend it.
The first book we discussed was the one about John Kelly and his son. Again, great read.
Also mentioned in the episode was Dan’s story about his first year in rowing at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. I’ve not read it yet, but I just purchased it, and I’ll be reading it soon.
Dan, you are a class act, a great coach, and a wonderful storyteller. Thank you very much.