There is so much going on this summer: the heat dome, the presidential race, and low fuel prices, the Olympics in Rio — I could go on and on. Let’s face it: I am a fleet nerd, as my friend Bill Griffiths would say, and I am also a leadership nerd. Just look at some of my recent blogs. The underlying tone in all of them is leadership. Leadership metaphors are everywhere and so too are examples in current events that should make you reflect on your success.
Always More Left to Do
I consider myself to be a big sports fan and love to hear about success stories of athletes, especially when it involves overcoming challenges. Wayde van Niekerk, a 24-year-old sprinter from South Africa, said something after qualifying for the 400-meter final that will stick with me for quite a while. During his interview immediately after the semifinal run, he told the NBC anchor, “Don’t feel so connected to your accomplishments. There is always more left to do.”
As I reflect on my accomplishments thus far, I smile because hard work is paying off. But it would be silly for me to not simultaneously think of the people who have helped me get here. Certainly I think of my family for teaching me about professional ethics in our family-owned mechanic shop, where I spent the first 12 years of my professional automotive career. I think about the great colleagues I have had around me for the last few years, and let us not forget about our strategic business partners. For example, in our case, NAPA IBS became part of our early success almost immediately after the company came on campus.
Fire Bullets, Then Cannonballs
I figure since you are taking the time to read this, you probably care about what you do — and have already started thinking about your accomplishments. Congratulations on that, but my question for you is this — what’s next? What else are you going to do? Don’t think it needs to be a huge accomplishment, just an accomplishment — even if that means wrapping up a lingering task. Get it done and move on to the next. As the great author Jim Collins said, “Fire bullets, then cannonballs.” Each bullet helps you aim at the target before you launch the cannonball.