I came late to NASCAR as a fan, having successfully avoided sports fandom most of my adult life.
So, color me truly surprised to realize I’ve developed an appreciation for the sport and the lessons it offers.
For one thing –
The fastest car doesn’t always cross the finish line first.
A lot of variables factor into the mix for success on any given day. Chief among them is how well the car’s support team responds to quickly changing conditions.
While the driver may be the most visible face of a team, there can be more than 100 people attached to that team, working to achieve the desired outcome.
Two of the team roles stand out for me as being critical: The Crew Chief, who is like the head coach for the team, and the Spotter, perched somewhere above the track with a pair of binoculars, providing the driver with an essential second set of eyes.
Thanks to modern radio technology, the driver has both crew chief and spotter “in-ear” at all times, providing crucial input and perspective.
The crew chief manages – and communicates – race strategy, like when it makes sense to push and when to conserve fuel. At times, the crew chief steadies a frustrated driver, helping that driver maintain a more effective focus.
The spotter tells the driver when and where to dodge issues on the track like debris, slick spots or other cars spinning out of control, or let’s the driver know when /where there may be a critical opportunity for advancing.
If tech glitches compromise this “in-ear” connection, a driver can be seriously hampered and at a much higher risk of being in a crash.
What does this have to do with you? In a word:
Consistent, sustained performance that yields the outcomes you want to achieve, including quality of life and time with loved ones.
You aren’t a race car and life is not a race. But you are likely someone committed to bringing your best performance to your mission AND to supporting others with bringing their best.
- Do you have a crew chief? A spotter?
- Who is in your ear?
- Are you getting the input and perspective you need to achieve the results you want – WITHOUT doing damage to yourself or anyone else along the way?
Racing drivers are fiercely determined to succeed. This can backfire at times, causing a driver to push so hard that – in colloquial terms – the engine blows. It breaks down beyond repair…so the car and its hugely competitive driver? Are out of the race.
That’s never fun…even when it’s just a machine.
Rebuilding your engine – a.k.a. your physical and mental well-being – is a different matter.
We can’t simply tow you to the garage and have mechanics tear you apart for a rebuild as they do a car engine.
So…much better not to blow your engine in the first place. Or wind up in a crash, if you can avoid it.
Getting the input and perspective that serve you best is more than a matter of commiserating with friends. That may feel good for the moment but not give you the strategy (or fuel, or traction) you need to accomplish what you want.
As we launch into 2023 and you consider what you want to achieve, accomplish, change, create this year, I invite you to be really intentional about whose input and perspective you take in.
- Does that input help you feel re-energized and strengthened?
- Does the perspective being offered help you gain traction, stability, resilience?
- Does the input or perspective help you grow as a human being?
My wish for you, for us all – especially in the wake of the past 3 years: May this be a year with smooth open track ahead, free of crashes and breakdowns, and filled with joyfully supportive companionship along the way.
How I can help:
1) Be sure you subscribe to The Challenge Chronicles so you don’t miss any installments. (Scroll down for link.)
2) If you’re ready for a Pit Crew and veteran Spotter for high performers like you, you’ll be interested in The Pit Stop for Busy Women Leaders, a new group launching in January, 2023. Email me to learn more (firstname.lastname@example.org).
3) When you want deeper, personalized support for your path, or help for your team to align more effectively, we can explore how to create what will serve you best for now and moving forward. Need a Spotter in your ear? Want to develop your own Inner Crew Chief? Let’s talk. (email@example.com)
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