My day as a 'Pit Lizard'

April 13, 2016 3:13 pm

Okay, I’m going to be completely honest…yes I’ve shared with you how running a business together isn’t a fast track to divorce, I’ve also shared with you why we’re not connected on LinkedIn. Today I’m sharing with you my love of being a Bogan.

Yes, I am a rev-head. I just LOVE the V8 Supercars and my excitement builds like a kid in a toy shop at Christmas as I watch the stands, seating and marquees being set up in preparation for the Clipsal 500 V8 race to hit Adelaide’s city streets. I love everything about it. The smell of burning rubber, the feel of the thundering V8 power travelling through the ground, the sound of backfire, the dirt, the atmosphere and the aggressive driving by some of the world’s most talented drivers!

This year I was fortunate to have the opportunity to become a ‘Pit Lizard’. (I prefer to use the definition by Auto Dictionary which is a nickname for a racing groupie, NOT Urban Dictionary‘s definition!)

I was given the opportunity to gain exclusive access to one of the race team’s pits. For 5 hours I was part of the ‘inner sanctum’ and was just steps away from the action. As I took in everything that the experience had to offer I reflected on how I could apply these lessons to my own business.

  1. 1. Accountability
    Excuse the pun but the race teams were running like well-oiled machines. Each team member knew exactly what their role was and what they were required to do at key points of the race. When the cars were coming in after colliding with other cars or walls, each person knew exactly what they were required to do – there was no finger-pointing or blaming, each person knew their role and did what was needed quickly,  efficiently and most importantly to the required standard to get the car back out on the track.It made me reflect on my own team. Does each of my team members have a clear understanding of their own roles? Do they know at what point they need to ‘step up’ and take responsibility for the greater good of the team? Do they work well as a team? Do they meet the required standard?
  2. 2. Work Environment
    When I imagined the pits before I witnessed it for myself, for some reason I imagined an old mechanic’s workshop: grease, tools lying about, guys wearing ripped blue overalls, random parts shoved in the corner, oh and did I mention more grease? I was in awe of how ‘house proud’ the teams were and did not accept anything out of place. Each team member knew exactly where everything was and everyone promptly put things back where they belong.Again I thought about the work environment in our studio in Gilbert Street. Yes it’s clean and tidy but do my team know exactly where to find the resources they need to be able to do their job well? Whether that be physically or virtually. It made me think about the amount of time we may have wasted trying to locate ‘that file’.
  3. 3. Celebrate Success (and learn from the failures)
    There can only ever be one car that wins first place in a V8 Supercar race. Unfortunately the team I witnessed didn’t get the black and white checkered flag but they did improve on the previous race. The team evaluated where they could improve and hit the ‘reset’ button ready for the next race.In business we can all win, it just depends on what race we are running, what our objective is. Sometimes in our business we get so caught up in welcoming the next project that we don’t make the time to celebrate our successes. To reflect and enjoy the ‘end product’.

 

I really enjoyed the opportunity to experience something I would have never put on my bucket list (as I didn’t know it was possible). It was wonderful insight to look at how another ‘business’ runs in an industry nothing like my own. I encourage you to reflect on your own business as I have mine and I hope you can ‘tighten a few nuts and bolts’ to win your own race.

I’d also like to thank Mark and Rob from Comwire IT for the opportunity!

– Kerryn Page

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