Month: May 2024

Simon Sinek sounds logical, but I challenge it.

I have a few authors, bloggers, YouTubers or whatever you would like to call them which make me think. Simon Sinek, Adam Grant, and dozens of others. They stand out as the way they challenge the common wisdom of how to manage teams, people and even yourself. Simon Sinek’s Ted talk on Start with Why is one of the most watched Ted talks of all time. I am amazed many companies do not follow some of his advice. 

Simon was interviewed and asked this question. He produced an answer and used a metaphor to attempt to get his point across. Simon was explaining that following his advice will help companies grow, but there is no timeline to achieve it. The metaphor related companies to a person getting into shape. To summarize, if you work out every day, I cannot tell you when you will get into shape, but you will eventually get into shape. Simon was alluding to the fact that it consistency is the key.  

As much as I admire him this quote made me step back and wonder if he understands physical fitness and getting into shape at all? Consistency only gets you part of the solution. When I was a child, I was told that ‘Practice Makes Perfect.” This seemed logical at the time but was followed up by ‘Perfect Practice Makes Perfect’ which again seemed logical. If you practice wrong, obviously you will not get it perfectly right. Just like Simon’s quote we assume it is correct as it sounds logical. 

Just like the first statement of practice makes perfect, there is something missing. Consistently going to the gym is not complete. One must not only go to the gym every day (ok ignore rest days) but also challenge yourself to get stronger or leaner etc. If you do the same exercises, with the same weights or speed etc., you will never improve and stay at the same level of fitness (or shape) you are currently in. Trainers will always ask you to track your sets and remind you to progressively add resistance, repetitions, or other changes to challenge yourself. Just going to the gym every day is not a guarantee to success.  

On top of that, Mark Hyman said, ‘You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet.’ Thus, again going to the gym every day does not guarantee you will get into shape if you use the the working out as an excuse to have a poor diet. If you eat junk food and hope just going to the gym is your salvation, you will discover that this is a recipe for failure. Consistency is not just about the gym; it is also about your diet. Simon does mention that eating cake one day does not ruin it. Unfortunately, if people listen to just the sound bite, they may learn an incorrect lesson.  

In my current fitness journey, I can attest that you need both. It was a decision in the summer of 2023 to get back to simplifying my diet, limit my calories, increase my protein intake that allowed me to get back into shape. I rethought my workouts and progressively challenged myself with more weight and different exercises. The combination of the two was the key to getting into shape. Of course there are exceptions, as some people may need other help, but this is the game plan for many. 

So, is Simon incorrect in what his statement? Yes and no, but I am going to give him a partial pass. Simon is using an analogy that sounds logical to make a point. What I wonder is how many people believe things that sound logical?  Example take the following quote, “The majority of people in the United States die in hospitals, so stay out of them.” I hope that quote made you laugh, but if you saw the quote in a headline would you think twice about it? How about, “A patient either gets better or they don’t.” This one is a bit more confusing, why cannot it be both? What I challenge myself with is to listen and even if it sounds logical to question it. Everything we hear may have some partial truth, but that does not guarantee it is completely true. Going to the gym daily will help you get into shape, so it is partially true, but it is not the whole story.  

Simon is correct this goes with everything in life, being a good partner, being a good parent, being a good leader all need consistency. But there are missing pieces, tracking so you can see improvement, making changes to improve and looking back to see how much you improved. I again highly recommend his talks, and books, but as with everything you watch and read, question it.  

This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain; I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free.  I do read all feedback; but it is moderated.

This Blog is a labor of love and was originally going to be a book. With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path.  I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content. I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip.  I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog.   AI is not used in this writing other than using the web to find information. Images without notes are created using an AI tool that allows me to reuse them.

Was winning an F1 Race all luck, and what should we learn from it.

Do you ever wonder if your success had to do with luck? Did you get a job because the person who interviewed you had a good day? Did you get into college because your family knew someone at the school? Were you in the right place at the right time? These are questions I ask myself often, and this weekend I watched as luck turned into success, but was it truly luck? 

Let me set up the scene, Formula Racing has been dominated by a single driver and team for the past 2 years. Last year he won 19 of the 22 races, which is just incredible. The Red Bull team which he drives for has been dominant for several years, and with Max Verstappen driving it is hard to bet against them. In the last 539 days only one other team (Ferrari) has won a race.  

My daughter is a huge F1 fan, and she roots for someone else and another team, McClaren and Lando Norris is her favorite driver. Her dream was to attend an F1 race for her graduation. My original plans failed. In a last-minute crazy idea, I bought flights and tickets to the Miami Grand Prix. Just to give her the experience. I am not an F1 expert, nor planning, picking seats etc. Hockey yes, F1 no. But I asked some people, googled it, and figured enough out. 

We are at the race, Lando had a decent starting position and hoping for a podium (first, second, or third) result. The hope was a 2nd or 3rd as Verstappen penned in as first. The race started and Lando’s teammate got a great jump and vaulted into third. place, while Lando slipped down into 5th. Early in the race, Lando’s teammate made a move and got into second place. The top 5 cars pulled away from the field and Verstappen just pulled away from the top 5 cars. It looked like an easy win for him, and the field the way it is. It was this way for the first 30 or so of the 57-lap race. 

F1 has a rule where you need to use 2 diverse types of tires thus there is a mandatory pit stop. Some drivers had pitted but the top 5 had not pitted, many waiting for Verstappen in the lead to change. Red Bull made the call and Verstappen went in for the tire change. Instantly the Ferrari’s, who were in third and fourth at the time, followed by the McLaren (Oscar Piastri.) This put Lando Norris in the lead. Those not into racing a pit stop takes about twenty to thirty seconds under a green flag.  

With Lando in the lead, on lap 29 Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant crashed. This brought out a yellow flag and the safety car. Lando took advantage of it and pitted. During the yellow flag the speeds were limited, he was able to emerge from the pit stop still in the lead. During a restart, the cars were lined up, so Verstappen was right behind Lando when the green flag came out. Verstappen attempted a pass in turn 3, Lando was able to hold him off, and then seemed to pull away, eventually winning by 7 seconds. Amazing my luck of last-minute flights and tickets to a race where my daughter’s favorite driver would win. 

Someone texted my daughter asking how that happened, and I told her to say a little bit of luck played into it. There are apps that show where the conversation between the pit crew and the driver says, one driver commented that he did not know there was going to be a safety car break. No one knew that was going to happen, it was just luck and timing. Luck was not the only reason Lando managed to win this race.  

The McLaren team had made changes to this car for this race. Lando drove a great race for 57 laps and was able to avoid making any major mistakes. Lando has 110 races under his belt, years of practicing and climbing to earn a spot in F1. The McLaren team spent years and years of F1 development to have a competitive car. This victory was not just one of a single incident, but the accumulation of tons of work by lots of people. It had a little push with luck. 

Back to the question about my life, and questions you should ask about your own. There are lots of people who work hard, there are lots of people who are smart and plenty with dreams. Sometimes luck does play into success, not just effort. Luck could be the DNA lottery, (having the right parents) location lottery, (living in the right town) getting into the right school, picking the right major, meeting the right person or hundreds of other things. Many of us do not think of it, but it is something we should. And be prepared, work hard, put the effort in so when the time comes, you are ready.

This does not mean just in a professional manner but meeting the right people as friends and finding a soulmate. There is all some form of luck in it. The question we should ask for is how we take advantage of these lucky instances, and how we enable this fortune for others. The latter being what would make us better people.  This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain; I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free.  I do read all feedback; but it is moderated.

This Blog is a labor of love and was originally going to be a book.  With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path.  I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content.  I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip.  I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog.   AI is not used in this writing other than using the web to find information. Images I took at F1 race at Miam, except for the Lando Celebrating, my seats were not that good.

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