In car racing, drivers need to stop at various intervals to refuel, change tyres, or have engine checks performed.
The pit crew are the people who perform these duties. They wait for the time they have to leap into action. They get the driver back on the track fast and with everything they need to keep going. They want their team driver to make it to the finish line without any obstacles.
I compare the people who help us achieve in our careers with a pit crew.
Our pit crew is the team of helpers who stand in the background, watching our progress. They want us to keep driving towards our goal – to get to our finish line. Our pit crew focuses on giving us the equipment and resources we need to complete the race. They see their job as preparing us to sweep the obstacles out of our way.
They are our champions.
In my women’s workshops, we often take a simple exercise. I call it a Champions Map. I ask participants to trace around one hand on a sheet of paper.
At the top of each finger and the thumb, I suggest they list a person they consider to be one of their champions. Along the length of each finger, I ask them to write how that person can help them. This shows the ways that person is currently their champion.
Women are often pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to find four or five champions who are in their pit crew.
On one occasion, a participant exclaimed “it’s all here in front of me. I’ve been ignoring my champions. What a lesson!”
This simple activity visually reinforces an important concept for us. It reminds us that there are people in our pit crew. We do have a group of champions who support us.
They are the people who help us succeed in our race towards our goals. They give us advice, mentoring, information and networks. They champion us by putting us forward for new opportunities. They connect us in places we might otherwise not have gone to. They answer our questions and encourage our curiosity – to ask more.
Naomi Maltby is a South Australian Saloon Car/Super Six Touring Car driver. She races at the state and national level. Maltby was asked the best advice she ever received in her racing career. She said “to keep at it. Very few people get in a car and are immediately winning races. Most of the faster drivers you see at club meetings are the ones who have been racing for years and learning their craft…get some expert one-on-one coaching if you can – precise feedback on what you’re doing wrong is worth its weight in gold.”
It sounds to me like Maltby has her pit crew sorted. She has the crew that helps her on the racing track. She also has the group of champions who provide her with expertise, sage advice and coaching.
Try developing your own Champions Map. See if the visual representation of your pit crew is useful in your career planning. It might even help you in your life objectives.