An ace with an oar
Benjamin Lang, team manager, Bouygues Telecom / Rowing
When he talks about his parallel lives as a team manager at Bouygues Telecom’s Océania centre at Bordeaux and a member of the French rowing team, Benjamin Lang stresses the importance of the Group’s role.
“Rowing requires two training sessions a day and about 200 days of travel a year. I have a special contract with Bouygues Telecom that has saved my sports career.”
This contract designed to allow high-level athletes to combine their sports activity with their job has enabled this oarsman, whose specialty is two-man boats without a coxswain, to adjust his working time to this gruelling schedule. During these four years between two Olympics, he has been able to devote 50 percent of his working time to preparation for the Games in Rio. In exchange, Bouygues Telecom receives subsidies and tax benefits. The contract, negotiated directly with his management, enables Benjamin to get in all the training he needs. And it has worked: he and his rowing mate have qualified for Rio! His employer liked his atypical profile, and Benjamin benefits from the arrangement in both his activities.
“In my job managing a team of customer advisors, where group performance is enormously important, sport helps me to set objectives for my staff, to assist them in achieving them, and to motivate them. On the flip side, my work helps me to structure my approach to rowing, to get some distance on it, and to keep my failures in perspective.”