The sport of Formula One may seem a world away from your job in an MSP company, but in reality, there is plenty we can learn from the racers who face death at 200mph and the teams behind them. Even if your chair is more upright (and a lot less snug) than the cockpit of a 700hp road-missile, let’s have a look at what we can learn:
1. Build Up Your Weakness
Many consider Brazilian driver, Ayrton Senna, to have been the finest F1 driver ever. In the rain, he regularly made other drivers look like they weren’t even in the same race, but Senna wasn’t always such a master of the rain.
Senna was very quick racing karts as a boy, but the first time it rained, he couldn’t cope. From then on, every time it rained, Ayrton Senna went out and drove lap after lap on his home track. Years later, those hours spent driving in the rain bore fruit. Senna was considered by all to be untouchable in rainy races.
How could you or your MSP company work on a weakness and turn it into the mark of your championship ability?
2. Assemble the Best Team
Most F1 drivers have roughly the same level of driving skill. In most cases, the car tends to be the factor that makes the difference. Often, critics will say a driver only won a race or a championship because he had the best car. Well, at risk of sounding like a petulant teenager, duh!
F1 drivers know that they need the best car, and it takes more than dumb luck to end up in the best car on race day. If you study the stories of F1 champions, you’ll usually find that they had an incredible ability to ensure that they had not just the funding they needed but also the team heads, mechanics, technology partners, and coaching it took to create the best cars. They didn’t end up in the best car by accident. They assembled the best team.
Have you assembled the best team?
3. Be Ready to Grab Opportunity
Sometimes, the one missing factor in success is timing. On a track, a driver may know that his car simply lacks the pace needed at that moment to overtake the car or cars ahead of them for the lead. The more experienced drivers will often bide their time, knowing that attrition often comes into play. They may be following two drivers who are fighting each other for a position on the track. When those two collide, the smart driver behind is ready to pounce for the win.
How can you be ready to pounce when the competition makes a mistake?
4. Competition Improves the Breed
Few areas of human endeavor better illustrate this maxim than Formula One racing. In recent years, rules have (to a certain extent) limited the most lavish types of technological creativity and advances because the sport has been getting too expensive. However, it remains true that competition in Formula One improves the state of the technology.
In business, competition also improves the breed. A very successful boss once said to me that he never likes to control more than 75% of the market. He thinks it is dangerous to hold too much of a dominant position. His reasoning is that you need some competition to keep you on your toes.
Who is your competition? In what areas are you competing? How can you improve from this competition or learn from your competitors?
5. Preparation is Critical
If you’ve ever watched a Formula One race, you probably noticed how slick everything looks. The high-performance nature of F1 extends to all aspects of the teams, and generally, if you look higher up the results table, you’ll notice that those teams look better-prepared. F1 teams know that the more variables they can eliminate, the more room they leave for performance and results. By being fully prepared, they avoid costly mistakes.
Is your MSP company the best-prepared business in your market? Are there areas in which you could better eliminate variables? How can you use preparation to avoid mistakes?