Winning Is More Than You Think

MotoGP 2015 pit entryMost people who have met me in person know that I am a deeply passionate motorcycle racing fan.

I would happily watch motorcycle racing for 8 hours at a stretch – and I have often done so as a volunteer official standing track side in all sorts of weather conditions enjoying the sport that I love.

This blog is however about my work as a people professional and I am about to draw some parallels between the sport I love and the work I love. Hope you enjoy it……


The pic shown above was taken on my phone as the MotoGP riders returned to the pits after the race at Phillip Island in October 2015. I had a birds eye view and enjoyed watching the riders return because it had been a great race. As a spectator – or casual observer in a workplace context – I had seen skill applied, a clear result, great (weather) conditions, and individuals performing at their best (after much hard effort by their teams and them in terms of their preparation and fitness)

First point of my story – what the casual observer sees is the RESULT of the preparation and effort and team work. Very very few people have the privilege of truly seeing what goes on behind the scenes. (I was honored to be in the pit garage of a rider making his debut in the MotoGP arena in the Moto3 class and there were certainly things that I saw that most people would not see or notice)

Take Away for you – as a leader remember to acknowledge the effort that goes in to achieving a result and not just the result itself.

Why? Because the result may be influenced by factors outside the individual or team control and if you only recognise result, you can be rewarding unrepeatable outcomes.

Back to the story, this picture was taken 3 rounds ago and even the most casual observer will have heard that Valention Rossi was fighting for the World Championship against Jorge Lorenzo. Italian vs Spaniard. Yamaha team mates. And you will also most likely have heard some comments that it was not a “clean” or direct 1 on 1 challenge for the championship.

Second point of my story – there are always multiple factors and players involved in an outcome, it is important to clarify the FACTS not opinions about who did what and why. Stay on target and do not let yourself be swayed by what others tell you. We sometimes call this gossip and innuendo. It is soul destroying and also destroys reputations and trust.

In a team, you will most likely receive feedback from a variety of sources about the conduct and behaviour of certain individuals. Stay calm and independent. Gather all of the facts and make sure any decisions you take are based on facts not opinion.

As a team member, remember that your reputation or personal BRAND will stay with and around you far longer than whatever result you achieved.

In the racing story, Rossi has claimed that other riders are helping Lorenzo and hence stopping him from winning the championship (spoiler alert – the final round was held last weekend and yes Rossi lost the championship). There has been an immense amount of publicity and comment on social media because, lets face it, this is a world championship and the main players are idolised and looked up to by fans and local racers all over the world.

Third point – be conscious to the fact that others are watching and learning from you, both in terms of what to do and how to respond as well as how not to! sadly, many racers and fans have had some severe lessons in how not to over the past few weeks.

Why? In a workplace your success is about a combination of factors – including the success you achieve (as measured by you AND by others) and your reputation. Very few people would choose to work with someone who was totally and utterly focused on winning at all costs – because that one win may sacrifice things that are considered important in your workplace and to other staff:

  • integrity
  • dignity
  • trustworthiness
  • being a team player

These are some of the factors that are incorporated into my Success Coaching program because many people work hard without achieving the results they aspire to and seek help and support to hit their targets.

One win does not win a championship and one win does not make a career or business success, Certainly that one win can be a turning point, and for we racing fans Lorenzo winning that last round will be spoken about for many years to come.

My hope is that whatever is said, that we retain sight of the fact that this has been an incredible season of racing, with some impressive and elite demonstration of skilled riding (including by Marquez and Pedrosa) that should not be overshadowed by the events as portrayed by one person.

Your workplace and your career needs the same care and concern.  Lets come together to make work and team work a clearer path to success.


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