Leadership, NASCAR Style

I should probably start this post by admitting that I am not a huge NASCAR fan. However my husband and youngest daughter are, and I wasn’t about to miss out on our family time, so on Saturday I humored them both by taking part in the Charlotte Motor Speedway experience.  My favorite parts of the race were the start, the wrecks, and the finish. The in-between lap racing didn’t really hold my attention.

We had pit passes, so prior to the race we got to go down and check out everything going on in the pits. It was neat to be that close to where the chaotic action would soon be taking place. Most of the team’s pits were basically the same. Then we came to Kevin Harvick’s pit of the RCR team. There I saw something that really caught my attention. On the front of their pit box was a long piece of yellow duct tape with these words written on it: Prepare, Think Positive, Embrace, Visualize, Excel, and Write History.

Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer, who are also part of the RCR team, also had it on their pit boxes.

These words intrigued me. Of course I could only speculate the true meaning of these words and how they might challenge and motivate the RCR team, but I thought it was neat that this racing team operates no differently than many of our teams in the business world do. What if you were to take these six words/phrases and apply them to your team?  What would they mean? Let’s play with them just for fun:

Prepare: Do you feel prepared? How have you prepared yourself to lead? How will you prepare yourself and your team to grow into the future?

Think Positive: Envision what you want to happen. When what you want to happen doesn’t happen, how do you deal with it? Your outlook as a leader is crucial. People are watching, and while they watch, they learn.

Embrace: Are you embracing your current situation? Don’t run from it; take it and move forward based on your conditions. Remember to lead to the conditions you are in. Being a realist and knowing your situation is important.

Visualize: Where are you going? Can you visualize your dream? What does it look like? Can you describe it? Close your eyes and create a vision of what your dream looks like.

Excel: Put 100% into what you do or don’t do it. An 80% leader will groom an 80% team that will perform at 80%.

Write History: This one is my favorite! Will your team write history? Will others that follow you try to accomplish as you have accomplished? Are your standards at a place high enough for others to try and seek?

I also like the way the RCR team taped these meaningful words where they are a small but visual reminder during the race.

What if I asked you to write down the words or phrases that you live – or lead – by? What words/phrases does your team need to see during your daily race?


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  • Kim says:

    the words for my company or team would be work smart, execute, passion, together, focus, celebrate

  • Anonymous says:

    Great message – funny how this relates to professional and personal life too. If I had to think of our words it would be…Consistency, focus, future passions, impact of others, everyone growing. I too like the “write history” and wow how do we all impact history – relates to your “wake” message. Great article – I’m sharing with my team.