Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

DI Warm-Up: Most Valuable Asset to Racing Team or Business is Good People

Wes Buck

Wes Buck

A friend of mine once told me he believed people are like coil springs: you compress them over and over, and each time they bounce back just a little bit less than they did before. Eventually, the springs wear out and don’t have any rebound whatsoever.

While there are a number of what I believe to be great “teams” in the racing community, I don’t think we can ever put enough emphasis on good people and positive company or crew culture; especially in an industry that churns out a new, high-tech, lightweight or next-generation doohickeys on a consistent basis.

Personally, I’ve primarily been exposed to the old-school management and leadership styles that often exist in small business: the notion that keeping employees and team members fearing for their jobs will keep them working hard to stay employed. And while I’ve had a few gigs that offered a much different environment than that, I’ve never operated within a Google-like environment where naps, back rubs and snack breaks were mandatory.

In this day and age of nearly constant projectile vomiting of 25-cent words, marketing lingo and tech talk it’s hard for me to even bring up something like “company culture,” but I can’t deny its existence—and importance, in my opinion—to the success or failure of any group or organization.

The best companies and the best race teams foster a sense of trust between employees and crew members that allows them to focus on achieving goals together. When the culture of a company encourages destructive competition, internal politics and the like, you’re virtually guaranteed to find yourself on the opposite end of the spectrum. In drag racing that means a car that won’t fire or is shut off for leaking; in business it’s a company that fails at startup or is outperformed or quickly outdated by the competition.

I recently read a book—which I loved—called Leaders Eat Last, by one of my favorite authors and speakers, Simon Sinek. It reads: “We’ve succeeded as a species because of our ability to form cultures. Cultures are groups of people who come together around a common set of values and beliefs. A company is a group of people brought together around a common set of values and beliefs. It’s not products and services that bind a company together. It’s not size and might that make a company strong. It’s the culture—the strong sense of beliefs and values that everyone, from the CEO to the receptionist, all share.”

People really are everything in business, and I think the same easily applies to racing organizations and teams. If there’s anything I’ve learned over eight years of running DRAG ILLUSTRATED and a lifetime spent in the drag racing industry, it’s the importance of having the right people on your team. Give the best people bad equipment and I bet they’ll qualify and go rounds. Give bad people the best equipment? I think you know the answer.

People really are everything, and the people you align yourself with will either put you in the winner’s circle or put you on the trailer.

GOOD READS

GOOD VIEWS

  • Here’s a wild and unique GoPro video of Shannon Butler’s Procharger F2 SBF-powered Mustang hitting the wall hard this spring at Chitown’s KOTXI King of the Streets race.
  •  Here’s a blast from the not-so-distant past: a promotional video featuring action from the 2009 ADRL tour.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You May Also Like

News

Tony Christian, one of the pioneering drivers of the Pro Street movement, passed away Thursday, June 9. Christian was infamous for his battles with...

News

The Mid-West Drag Racing Series (MWDRS) is saddened over the passing of Pro Mod driver Ronnie Hobbs following an on-track incident during Friday night...

Exclusive

Courtney Enders is no strange to creating compelling drag racing content. As she says, she was a content creator before that was a term,...

The Wes Buck Show

“Stevie Fast” Jackson, current E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod points leader, opens up on mid-season rule changes for supercharged and turbocharged entries and...

Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.