A Formula for Success

An Excerpt From A Champion's Path
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How do we inspire a workforce to sustain high performances in dynamic, challenging, and competitive environments? Most big companies have access to funding, training, and technology yet still lack the ability to fully access human potential. The increased pace of business in today’s world has brought a brand of turbulence that can cloud our direction. 

This book will transport you through the high-speed developments used in auto racing, one of the most dynamic sports platforms in the world. The level of competition and funding found in Formula One and open-wheel racing has forced teams to develop some of the world’s most advanced tactics for maximizing team performance. High-level professional open-wheel racing is a high-intensity sport, demanding exacting human performance in an environment of constant pressure and tight time frames. A sport that pushes people to the edges and boundaries of what might be possible. A sport that provides an ideal business model for today.

Derek’s first dirt track championship winning car in 1972. Derek Daly Collection

In 2001, bestselling author Jim Collins explained well how companies move from being good to being great in his book Good to Great: Built to Last and How the Mighty Fall. For many of the companies he highlights, at some point leadership felt being good was good enough. At one time, in the 1980s and much of the 1990s, being good was enough to be successful in sports and in business. But as technology began to change everything in the mid- to late 1990s, you had to move from good to great in sports and business to be successful. The dawn of the new century further accelerated that, and around 2010, because of ongoing technological advances and tightening regulations, being great even came under pressure. Great was even being questioned. It became evident to the great leaders that the great toolbox needed even more tools; great was no longer sufficient to be competitive. Winners had to then make the leap from great to EXTRAordinary.

New technology flooded the market and our businesses had access to data at an unprecedented rate. Increased regulations greatly restricted our business and sports freedoms, and we were suddenly faced with a need to out-think the competition. We were forced to get faster and better. We were forced to think differently. We were forced to adopt a new culture. Not necessarily a culture of success, or a culture of winning, but a culture of EXTRAordinary. Companies that transitioned from going faster to being faster also moved from being great to being EXTRAordinary.

Derek’s Williams FW08 car at the French Grand Prix in Dijon in 1982. Derek Daly Collection

What if you and your team could progress from beyond great? Motor racing at the highest levels provides real examples of such teams of people. In the early 2000s, the hammer of regulation change restricted the on-track development process of race cars. What once took place in public view was forced indoors to the simulation boardroom. The window to be competitive became narrower than ever. This led to a smaller number of teams being able to visit the victory podium to celebrate on a more regular basis. Those teams had to expand to unfamiliar reaches and had to become EXTRAordinary to win. This book explores where EXTRAordinary lives.

Find out the rest of Derek Daly's tips for success in his book A Champion's Path, available now!