The world is upside down. COVID-19 has a huge impact on all our lives. We’re now trying to get back to normal after we have digested the shock of the devastating numbers being reported daily in the news. Lockdown was also a “slow down” for many of us, also for me. Slow periods give me time to reflect and to rethink. See things with fresh eyes from a different perspective or angle.

Having to maintain social distance forces you to do things, you usually don’t find time to do. After finished all postponed activities like cleaning out the cellar, fixing everything that was broken at home I found myself relaxing on the sofa with the remote control in my hand. I browsed through the film offers of a streaming service which I am subscribed to. As a car enthusiast I stumbled over “Ford v Ferrari” starring Mat Demon and Christian Bale. I put it on and was surprised how well it was made and what message I took from it.

The movie in essence is about a rivalry between Ford and Ferrari. Ford wanted to sell more cars and therefore wanted some publicity and success by winning the prestigious race in “Le Mans”, which basically was Ferrari territory for years. In the beginning Ford wanted to buy the financially distressed car manufacturer Ferrari. But after Enzo Ferrari has insulted Ford, they wanted to beat them in the 24 hour race to humiliate them. 

Winning a 24 hour race in Le Mans without a racing history is super difficult. In order to achieve this Ford has hired Carol Shelby, a former race driver. Caro Shelby should develop a racecar in no time which is able to win Le Mans. You need to have the right people on board to make the impossible possible. Because of a heard disease, Carol Shelby was not allowed to race himself. Therefore he hired Ken Miles a test and race driver. Together (of course with many others) they built and developed the iconic Fort GT40.

A friend of mine always says: Good things don’t come cheap and cheap things don’t come good. When you run such a project you can influence the outcome through either Time, Budget, Scope or Quality. The first two times Ford went to Le Mans to beat the Scuderia, they failed, as their car was very unreliable. 

Here is where the wheat separates from the chaff.

The next time they reappeared to make the impossible possible, the drivers were given strict instructions not to rev the engine above 6000 rpm. But they did the math without Ken Miles. A genius and truly passionate guy when it comes to racecars and racing. He kind of “knew” that the car could do much more and did not care about the order.

He would have won the race with quite some margin. But internal politics at Ford denied him the well-earned victory. (Another lesson and another story for a new blog).

How did Ken Miles know what the car was able to do. He had a cockpit with all necessary dials. He had clear instructions from the engineers. But he did not pay attention to it. He knew that the potential or the limit is not what the numbers or tests are telling him.

You CAN manage what you cant measure by being passionate and extraordinary!

So if you want to achieve something extraordinary, you need to find those gifted people like Carol Shelby did or as explained here by Steve Jobs. If you want to do average things, you go with statements like “you cant manage what you cant measure”.

Browse members at www.mywigwam.ch to see some passionate entrepreneurs.

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