Salesforce com: Olympic Champion used continuous learning to transform his business


""Olympic Games"" – Google News

The best business lessons Trailblazer Mike McIntyre has ever learned came while he was on a 22-foot sailboat.

Ten months before the 1988 Olympics, he received a phone call inviting him to work with another British sailor and compete in the Star class, one of the most complicated boats in the world to learn to race. It was very different from the smaller boat class Mike had ridden for most of his life and it should take 10 years to learn.

Mike didn’t just take on the challenge – he won a gold medal for Team GB.

From gold medalist to Salesforce partner

All those years later, he’s still talking about seizing opportunities and learning new skills quickly, only now as a Salesforce partner. Mike is the managing director and co-founder of Xenogenix, a highly rated Salesforce consultancy based in the south of England.

The company started general business process consulting in 2002, but reinvented itself 5 years later after becoming a Salesforce customer. It was then that Mike saw the platform’s potential – and the need for companies to learn how to adapt it to their needs.

This is probably the greatest single opportunity I’ve ever seen and grabbed with both hands. It was a complete change in business.

Mike realized that learning about new technology can be as daunting for some people as trying to master the Star Class. By building his skills further with Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform, and earning multiple Salesforce certifications, Mike can show other companies how to make Salesforce work for them.

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Learn in-demand skills, earn viable credentials, and connect with a community of trailblazers for mentoring and employment opportunities.


It all starts with opening their eyes to the potential of technology. The most successful customers Mike looks after take a holistic view of their companies and use Salesforce to break down barriers between departments. “There is a great opportunity for many companies to take this approach more closely,” he said.

Want to learn more from Mike? Here are some lessons from his Team GB experience that you can apply to your Salesforce success today.

Be ready to take chances

Mike, who competed in a different boat at the 1984 Olympics, compared the lesson to the lesson he gave his daughter Eilidh just before she started sailing for Team GB in the Tokyo Olympics that summer.

“When you’re out there at the regatta, opportunities will arise and you have to be open to looking for them and grabbing them with both hands,” he said. “And that can also be brought into business well. Companies must constantly look for ways to do things better. ”

Eilidh McIntyre won a gold medal in the 470 class.

Embrace continuous learning

In 1987 it would have been easy for Mike to consider the learning phase of his sailing career over. He had won several national championships in the Finn class and could have just focused on competing in what he already knew. It took a learner’s mindset to win gold – which Mike thinks is even more important when working with technology.

With the Salesforce platform in particular, there is always a better way. The platform is constantly changing.

He cited Salesforce Flow – an application that helps users automate business processes – as an example of a product he thought he knew only to see its capabilities expand dramatically.

Trailhead module: Salesforce Flow

Automate processes for every app, experience, and portal with declarative tools.


Concentrate on the essentials

The biggest lesson Mike learned from his sailing experience was the importance of realizing and prioritizing which learning tasks are really important. In 10 months he didn’t know everything about the star boat – but he mastered the aspects he needed to win a race. Today he urges employees to apply that idea to Trailhead.

You can definitely speed up and slow down your learning process on Trailhead depending on how familiar you are with the subject.

He shared, “I think it’s important to really identify the most important things you need to learn and find the right modules and trail mixes to actually learn that information.”

Use your network

In order to learn new skills quickly, everyone needs a little help at times.

In 1988, Mike found it by drawing on his teammate’s network within the sailing community. They provided a Dutch training partner who could sail well in strong winds and a German who excelled in light winds to prepare for different weather conditions. “They didn’t really see us as a threat, so they told us things they wouldn’t tell anyone else,” he said.

Connect with innovators from anywhere

Join the discussion in the Trailblazer community.


The dynamics within the Trailblazer community are similar, only you don’t have to rely on existing relationships. Pioneers offer each other a built-in support network and often help strangers with large and small questions.

Follow Mike on the Trailblazer community at

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