February 20, 2020

“Talent + Team + Time = Success”

On Sunday, February 16th, the 62nd annual running of the Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Florida took place. For those of you that do not follow auto racing, the Daytona 500 is a 200 lap, 500-mile race that is part of the NASCAR Cup Series. For the sake of familiarity, a few notable names are Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt Sr. & Jr., Jeff Gordon, AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti, to name a few. (I apologize if I missed your favorite, lol!)

The 500-mile race is a test of skill, preparation,endurance, execution and the most coveted of all, luck. While I’m not necessarily a big fan of the NASCAR series, I am a fan of auto racing in general. So, I tend to watch a very diversified number of events, my favorite being Formula 1.

As I have watched and observed over the years, I have been able to draw a few commonalities possessed by a winning auto racing team and a successful advisory practice.

In particular, I observed how a race can be won or lost with something as routine as a common pit stop and that a breakdown or absence of several elements is often the fine line between success and failure.

With that, I’d like to draw a few parallels between a race team and an advisory practice; and the similarity of what is needed for success.

I call it the “3 -T’s of Success” or Talent + Team + Time = Success

·        Talent/Front Stage = Driver/Advisor – Has a Unique ability and is usually the catalyst or starting point of a practice or team. The Talent is most often highly paid and most visible.

·        Team/Back Stage = Owner/Pit Crew/Support staff -Helps build and support talent. The support of a talented Team will most commonly be the differentiator between success and failure.

·        Time = The glue of Talent and Team. The element of time, when added to the equation, helps build continuity, coordination,trust and confidence between talent and team. In this example, I think of greats in other sports such as Michael Jordan with the Bulls, Drew Brees with the Saints and of course Tom Brady with the Patriots. All great talents that have had great teams wrapped around their talent. All of which,developed to be champions with the “glue” of time together.

·        Luck = “Favors the prepared”.  While not a “T”, Luck typically shows up in the favor of those that have the 3 “T’s” in place.

 There’s a common quote I’ve heard many times in the past:  “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.

In the short run, leveraging just one of the “T’s”, at times, may be necessary to accomplish a particular goal. However, doing so can only take you so far with the overall success of your practice. To be truly successful, you have to have all 3, as well as a little luck, working together at any given time to be consistent at winning the game of “Success” in the long run.