What would an F1 Driver know about Leadership?

Read Time: 3 mins

Adam Loong | November 3rd, 2021


Quality lessons on leadership from some of the fastest people on earth.

A casual observer may mistakenly think that a racing car driver is one of the few roles that doesn’t involve leadership. Whilst there may be a large team of mechanics, tacticians and supporters behind the driver, there appears to be little to no direct reporting line between the driver and the hundreds of employees that keep his or her car on the track. Despite this fact, the driver does play an important leadership role within the team and the best of them provide excellent guidance that we can all learn from.

As a case in point, the Aussie superstar, Daniel Riccardo is an excellent example of how an individual with no direct reports (*this is an assumption based only on watching Drive to Survive*), provides leadership to many hundreds of people. Dan actively displays humility and empathy, two essential ingredients of great leadership. Whilst he may not have a direct report, the example he sets for his team is a powerful motivator and influencer of team culture. Additionally, check out the following words of wisdom he recently shared on his LinkedIn page.

Staying on track of your goals by Daniel Riccardo

Staying on track of your goals by Daniel Riccardo

1.      Stay true to your goals. The challenge for leaders is how they can best support their team members to stay true to their goals. A quarterly one on one meeting to discuss goals is not enough for leaders to support and coach individuals. Leaders need to engage regularly (at least weekly) with team members focussing on behaviours required to achieve their goals.

2.      Own your mistakes. An incredibly powerful tool that is available to ever leader is to own their own mistakes. Being open and honest with your team about a screw up doesn’t make you appear weak, it in fact enables a level of psychological safety that team members crave.

3.      Screw ups are a normal part of the process. Psychological safety is all about individuals being able to own up to a screw up without fear of reprisal. High performing units ranging from Fighter Pilots to world class musicians, to Formula 1 teams all enjoy the culture that is developed from this mentality.

There are three primary reasons setting goals is important, they are:

1.      MOTIVATION: It is a well-documented fact that workplace motivation requires an individual to have both an ability to improve and a purpose for doing so. Linking goals to organisational success provides purpose whereas the focus on personal improvement provides the required mastery.

2.      IMPROVEMENT: Successful teams share a common trait and belief that improvement is a never-ending journey. “Perfection doesn’t have a finish line”. Goals are set to enable individuals and the organisation to create a culture of continuous improvement.

3.      FOCUS: A goal enables a workplace to hone in on specific areas, ensuring clarity in the workplace. This focus means appropriate attention and resources are devoted to achieving the goal.

It’s also important for us to remember that goals should NOT be used for determining Rewards or Punishments. Rewards systems certainly have a place in business but it’s important to not link them to goal achievements.

If you’d like to hear more on this , check out our training video below

Request your free
no-obligation trial today

Fill out the below form to receive product updates and find out if deBa is a good fit for you.