Succeed in Business and In Life By Taking a Page From a Motorsport Playbook

Race car

3 steps to ultimate success.

Behind every successful racecar driver there is expensive operation that must run at optimal efficiency.

Large race teams may have R&D departments, design engineers, manufacturing capabilities and testing equipment to develop specific car components. They also have marketing experts, logistics professionals and individuals dedicated to obtaining and maintaining sponsor relationships. Whether the goal is to win a race or have a championship contending year, all components must come together synergistically to attain the desired results.

In Motorsport, ultimate success is often achieved when the race team prepares, works together, and finds ways to overcome adversity.

To succeed in your business or life you may not have an expensive R&D department or marketing experts, but that does not need to stop you from applying these lessons.

3 Factors That Influence Ultimate Success


In racing there are various basic preparations that must be made before race day. Mechanics must double check that all-car parts are functional and secure, everyone who needs to be at the event knows how to do their job and when and where they should be, and the driver must be ready to perform optimally, both physically and mentally. Yet, the actual race day preparations are just a small portion of a successful racing team.

Winning a race starts by preparing the race team to be a winning team long before race day by building a culture of preparation as an integral part of how the company operates.

Having strict guidelines of how to run day-by-day operations is vital.  Establishing clear chains of communication, with well-defined and concise roles that do not overlap, but instead match seamlessly creates synergy and contributes to near flawlessness in operations.

An important part of preparation should include building processes to help the team think outside the box and become innovators. Thinking outside the box gives teams the ability to foresee potential challenges and come up with fresh solutions for situations that may give your team an edge over the competition.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin


The author Johanna Godinez mapping out a race strategy.

The author Johanna Godinez mapping out a race strategy.

Developing an effective team may seem straightforward but it can be difficult to put into practice. All members of the organization must buy into in the process, feel they are an integral part of the process and believe that intended outcomes result from working together with enthusiasm.

Every person involved with the team should have a clear understanding of their specific roles and how they impact the team as a whole. Although issues and challenges are bound to arise, having clear roles and clear communications will contribute to strong relationships and allow individuals to move past those differences and continue working towards the common goal.

When conflicts arise, they should be discussed with transparency. A safe space should be created where everyone can feel heard and understood. Open communication allows everyone to move past their differences without holding on to the past or feeling resentment.

Effective teamwork not only leads to an increase in individual team member motivation, it also leads them to feel like they are partners, treating the company’s overall success as their own.

How the team is set up and managed will impact how team member enthusiasm is nourished and harvested and contributes to team functioning.

Overcome Adversity

Race teams have control of their overall preparation, and drivers have control of their performance, however, in racing there are a number of factors that are out of a teams’ control. Fluctuating track conditions, inclement weather, unavoidable incidents during the race and the performance of competitors, are all variables that may affect outcomes.

On any given day, a key element we can control is how we react to events as they unfold.

“What’s behind you doesn’t matter” — Enzo Ferrari

Learning and adapting to obstacles can help us get through challenges and keep team members on track when faced with unanticipated events. With preparation and by cultivating teamwork, teams are better able to adapt when adversity arises.

In racing it is crucial for teams to be able to adapt and move forward from setbacks. Whether dealing with the mistake of a driver, an engine failure or unforeseen circumstance, all teams will face an issue at some point.Good leaders foster an overall capacity in their teams to remain calm, shift, stay on track and adapt to changing situations.  To overcome adversity, it is important to help teams learn from mistakes, and move past disappointments.  In doing this teams can maintain the level of performance needed to achieve the results desired.

Whether you drive a racecar or own an accounting business, you can formulate a similar strategy for success in business and in life by remembering these three guide points.

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