How Driving a High-Performance Car on a Race Track Relates to Running a Company by Dr. Sanjay K. Patel, MD
Posted by: Sanjay Patel
27th Jun 2016
I have a very busy schedule as most people do. Between my medical practice, acting as one of the Managing Directors of Chalak Mitra Group of Companies and my family, I have very little free time. A couple of times a year, however, I make time to indulge in one of my few hobbies, performance driving. I’ve learned some very valuable lessons from my experiences on the track that directly impact the way I approach my work. From my experience, the cars are all tuned to perfection, the event is well-organized, everyone knows, and understands their role, and it’s a fun, supportive atmosphere. All of these things can, and should, be achieved in a business sense as well.
Perfectly Tuned Cars
No matter what make, model, or year a high performance car is, if it’s not tuned properly, it won’t perform well. Sometimes, you have to make adjustments to compensate for high altitudes, wet pavement, and extremes in temperature. When the car is perfectly tuned, the driver is able to focus on the track, rather than on worrying about the car. I’ve had issues with brakes overheating at the track, because my car simply wasn’t tuned to the conditions, or the demands I put on it. My solution was to replace the car with another that was better suited, however, someone else may have invested time and money into the car.
The Right Colleagues
In order for any business organization to perform to it’s full potential, individuals must be perfectly tuned, like the race car. In other words, they have to bring some talent or skill to the table that compliments the company. For instance, one person is exceptionally good at marketing, another excels at sales, a third has expertise in raising capital, and so on. Along the way, if someone is unable to perform to the levels that are expected, actions need to be taken. In some cases, that’s going to mean replacing that person with someone who has the potential to do better, like I did with my car.
When I’m behind the wheel, on the track, I am hyper vigilant, very aware of every sensation of sound, sight, touch and even taste. I am well aware of the dangers that could befall me if I lose focus. Not only is there the possibility of wrecking my car, but I could also hurt myself, or others. I keep my hands carefully on the steering wheel, I control the acceleration and braking with utmost precision. Even so, there’s a touch of excitement as I feel myself nearly losing control, then regaining it. I am also paying close attention to the other drivers, hoping to learn how I can perform better.
Every leader has the responsibility to be fully aware of what is happening within their company. It’s not just the fact that they’re in charge, and ultimately responsible, there’s more to it than that. Big problems hardly ever present themselves quickly. They tend to begin as a very small issue that is easy to ignore. Over time, the problem spreads, which can lead to losing clients, talented staff, and possibly huge amounts of capital. If you’re truly present, you can take immediate action to change the situation, thus averting disaster. When this kind of proactive stance is taken, individual and company productivity jump, which helps retain customers and talent.
I am blessed to be working with amazing friends at Chalak Mitra Group of Companies. I feel as though we operate much like an experienced racing team. Each of us is highly focused, working on our own aspects of the business, in concert with one another. We’re not afraid to make adjustments when we need to, in fact, we embrace challenges that make us grow and change. Above all, we know that each of us has the responsibility to support and encourage the others, after all, we are all driving in the same direction.