Every Sunday night in the summer, I hear the continuous “whir” of stock car racing in the background.  I live several miles from the speedway, but there is an unmistakable noise each week for several hours.

What I find fascinating about stock car racing is that the chassis, suspension and engine on these cars are architecturally identical on all of the vehicles.  It is the origin of the word “stock” car — the car was procured from the normal stock vs. a custom-designed racing car.  In fact, the technological elements resemble the standard cars in use by regular drivers.*

This leaves all the differentiation to a strict set of allowable changes, but mostly the success is up to the driver.  

Much of the same is true in organizations.  Often, you are providing the same physical product as a competitor and norms require you to remain within standard parameters.  What differentiates you is how you deliver your service and how your people “drive” the organization.  

Invest as much as you can in your drivers.  Even on the county speedway, the checkered flag only waves for one.

— beth triplett


About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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