Last weekend I flew to Texas to drive with my team aka “Itchn to Win” in the 24 Hours of LeMons series. The annual race is called the Gator-O-Rama. In the Spring they call it “Yee Haw LeMons Texas”.
When you don’t really have cell service, and you live at the track for three days, you have a different perspective on things. Success in a 24 hour race involving a crap can car has a lot of applications in life.
1. Have a Purpose – Every team arrives with dreams of winning. Never stop dreaming.
2. Be Flexible – Things change and you can’t control them. When you get hit with a one hour penalty for passing under yellow 5 times, your purpose might be to finish. Remember things change because we are human.
3. Be More Flexible – When your transmission falls apart during testing on Friday, your new purpose might be to have a car in the race at all. More than once teams worked all day and all night to get on the track for the last five laps on Sunday. Remember things change that you can’t control.
4. Be Even More Flexible – An Airline computer problem might make your purpose just getting there at all. Remember things change that you can’t control.
5. Never Give Up – See #2-4 The lead car was way ahead after a rainstorm. It was an Audi Quattro and could run circles around all the two wheel drive cars. It died with just three hours to go. First place for 22 hours, then out of the top ten in two. The race was on in the last hour with only one lap separating numbers two through five. Remember things change, and they aren’t always bad.
6. Take A Break – Cars Need Pit Stops, So do people and businesses. In a 24 hour race you need to stop every one to three hours depending on fuel burn.
7. Change Drivers – See number 6. Even when life is going perfectly, you need to let someone else have a turn. Businesses have management shifts, relationships need control shifts. Success doesn’t mean you are always in the drivers seat. Sitting in the seat too long and you lose focus on why you are there. You might become numb to your purpose. Get out of the seat and see what the other people do. Let them grow and help them when they need it.
8. Change Jobs – In this type of racing everyone pitches in everywhere. One pit stop you fuel, the next you man the fire extinguisher, the next you drive, then you rest. You might not be the best at every job, but at least take a turn to understand the job and appreciate the people who do it every day. George Kalogridis started at Disney resorts bussing tables. Today he is the president of Walt Disney World Resorts.