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Derek Daly

Derek Daly

Hall of Fame race car driver Derek Daly was the speaker at a recent Accelerent breakfast.

Daly’s career has been spectacular, to say the least.  The Dublin native survived a 212 miles-per-hour crash at Michigan International Speedway, became the face of motor sports with a 10-year association with ESPN, won the Joules Goux Award for his outstanding contributions to motor sports television and received the 2000 Hall of Fame Award for “Motor Sport Ireland.”

Oh, and he wrote a best-selling book, Race to Win:  How to Become a Complete Champion, published by Octane Press.

His presentation was naturally sprinkled with racing references.   All good.

Regarding competition in business:

“At Indy, you get black-flagged off the race track if you are not going at least 200 miles per hour.”

Regarding adapting to the changing business world:

“It’s not about going faster.  It’s about being faster.”

                “Remove the speed bumps that might be slowing you down.”

Regarding the development of great teams:

“Trust is the foundation of great teams.”

                “The best and fastest way to build trust is to share what you know to make everyone better.”

And he talked about preparation.

He cited former New York Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter, who said, “You don’t accidently show up in the World Series.”

Racing legend Roger Penske actually gives each of his employees on their first day of work a coin that is emblazoned with ““Effort equals results.”

And then, Daly used the 33-car starting grid for the Indy 500 as an example of preparation.  The racing teams at the front of the grid are the most prepared.  They have the most sponsorship dollars, their cars have the best paint-jobs, their drivers are the biggest names and they legitimately have the best chance to win.

The teams at the back of the grid feel they are lucky to be in the race.  They are the least prepared. They are often run on a shoestring budget and their cars have plain, unspectacular paint jobs with drivers you’ve never heard of.  Their chances of winning are almost nil.

Where are you on the starting grid?
Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

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