Full throttle. Full focus on the road ahead. Full confidence in your co-driver. That's the mentality of a World Rally Championship (or WRC) driver. You know the ones that drive insanely fast on everything from tarmac and gravel to snow, and then sprinkle champagne all over each other when they finish first. So how is this related to work culture?
Turns out, it’s related in more ways (no pun intended) than you would expect. If you think about the passion and the grit that these drivers have – going almost 200 km/h through a narrow snowy road with big trees on both sides, completely focused on the task at hand and giving it all it takes to win – isn't that the kind of spirit you would want your employees to have as well?
There isn't a magic trick or some cool growth hack technique to achieve this spirit amongst your employees and co-workers. However, I truly believe that with the right mentality and a continuous ambition to change, you can achieve a positive work culture that takes you towards the goal, with full speed.
This is where you start.
We live in a digital, disruptive world where everything and everyone wants our attention all the time. If you ask your fellow co-workers to send status reports every hour and send them three emails every ten minutes, chances are that the actual work isn't going to get done, and certainly not be done well. As much as multitasking is cherished in our work culture, it's the worst productivity killer of them all. Back to our WRC rally drivers, do you think they would even finish the race if they did anything else than just drive that high-speeding rally car through the snowy road?
Most important of all, have full confidence in your employees and co-workers. Without trust and openness from both sides; disbelief, negativity, and bad results are just around the corner. Think about the rally driver in the front seat and the co-driver in the seat next to him. They both rely on each other's trust. The driver fully trusts that his co-driver gives him the right instructions at the right time on how to handle the car through the sharp corners on the snowy road. The co-driver, in turn, trust the driver's ability to drive the car itself. So believe in your employees and co-workers, have confidence in their ability to deliver what’s expected. Focus on your own responsibilities and deliverables.
The rally drivers never have to bother about speed limits or road regulations, they can put the pedal to the metal and make the most out of the car’s potential. In the same way, let your employees have the best possible work conditions and once they have that, let them go full throttle! I’m not saying they should work overtime and put in inhuman hours, but rather fuel their passion. Encourage them to explore new ideas, pursue a personal goal, try a new approach to a process, take an online course, etc. It’s about creating a culture of opportunities, and the sense of an open road ahead. The point is, if you let your employees go full throttle and flourish, the company will flourish as well.