What Can Your Team Learn from The Peloton?

A peloton is the core group of riders in a road bike race. Cycling teams strategically align to give their leaders a competitive advantage.

Lessons in Strategic Allignment


The Tour De France is once again in full swing, and cyclists are pushing themselves to the limit while the daily challenges of the Tour unfold. There seems no better time to explore the lessons that cycling and the peloton can teach us about leading and being part of a team.


As a collective, a group of cyclists in a peloton resembles a superorganism. The group must remain constantly agile as they adapt to terrain and circumstance while remaining upright and moving forward. Every rider is united with a shared purpose: crossing the finish line. Within the group various subgroups of teams share priorities like getting a particular team mate into the best position to take a stage win.


The peloton itself is a mechanism that allows riders to take turns expending more energy so other riders can conserve their energy. Riders at the front of the peloton catch more wind resistance, and those that draft behind them can save 20-40% of their energy. The constantly shifting dynamic of the peloton allows for frequent rotation of different riders into that most challenging spot at the front.


Trust and communication are essential traits for successful cycling teams, and successful organizations in general. Cycling teams must be strategic about who they place at the front of the peloton and when, and then remain alert and responsive to how that person is performing to know when to make a change.


Lack of communication within any organization indicates a larger problem. Namely, the team can lack fundamental alignment and transparency around their shared purpose. Cycling teams at their best exhibit true transparent communication, and can teach us a few more abstract lessons as well.


  • Lead By Following
    • In the Peloton leaders follow closely behind other riders on their team, and conserve their energy for when it is needed most. What would happen in your organization if employees got a chance to lead the flow for a while? Giving employees a voice and acting upon their insights creates a shared purpose and a deep sense of investment.


  • Eye On the Prize
    • Each day of the Tour De France riders race 90-150 miles (145-240 km). In mountain stages riders climb thousands of feet of elevation. These fantastic physical feats would not be possible without a laser focus on the end result. We can’t always be sprinting to the finish line so we must put in place solutions for our organization that allow for long term growth and success.


  • There’s Room for Grit, but not for Gloating
    • Every day is a new opportunity in a long endurance race. A team may have a strong performance in one stage only to be devastated by a change due to injury or circumstance in the next. There is simply no time to gloat or rest upon your laurels. Retaining your humility allows you to be more agile, receptive, and prepared for whatever is coming next.
Strategic Alignment Within Groups

At Waggl, we believe that creating a listening culture within your workplace gives your organization a true competitive advantage. Great insights and contributions can come from anywhere inside an organization, and there’s no limit to how much we can thrive when we work together as a team.  

If you’re interested in creating a listening culture within your organization, Waggl is here to help. Get in touch to request a demo, and learn more.