Thursday Thoughts on Leadership: Win the Earnhardt Way

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Indianapolis to meet with the talented team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Indiana Realty. Spending time with the agents and managers at Indiana Realty, including co-founders Kevin Kirkpatrick and John Dick, as well as Chief Operating Officer Craig West, was an incredibly rewarding experience, and all attendees were in warm spirits despite the cold weather and impeding snow.

While driving to the Indiana Realty event, I had the opportunity to catch glimpses of the Indianapolis skyline from my car window and it’s difficult to be in that city without thinking of its most iconic event—the Indianapolis 500. The race is especially front and center this year, as the Indy 500 is set to hold its 100th running May 29.

The Indy 500, known as The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, first began in 1911, with an inaugural race won by a man named Ray Harroun. Today, more than a century later, the race has featured some of the best, brightest and boldest to ever drive 200 laps around the famed course: Mario Andretti, Helio Castroneves and A.J. Foyt. One of my personal favorite racers was the late Dale Earnhardt, whose son Dale Earnhardt, Jr. still drives in competitive racing today today. Though Earnhardt, Sr. raced at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway he never actually participated in the Indy 500.

However, despite not being in the actual race, of all the celebrated racers throughout history, I’ve always been particularly fascinated by Dale Earnhardt, Sr., not only because he was an award-winning driver, inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010, but also because of his ever-present grit and determination to win.

“You win some, you lose some, you wreck some,” he famously said, perhaps hinting at his oft-mentioned aggression on the race track. Earnhardt was lovingly nicknamed “The Intimidator” because when he got behind the wheel, his competitors knew he was virtually fearless. It’s a trait we as leaders must always remember to embrace as we rev up our own engines, preparing for any kind of business race, even if don’t wind up being the first to cross the finish line. “Finishing races is important,” Earnhardt said, “but racing is more important.”

So, what’s the message? Fear being anything less than fearless. Put all things in perspective and don’t “let one bad moment spoil a bunch of good ones,” as Earnhardt once warned. Because winning is not a race but instead a mindset and if you believe you’ve got the strength and determination to succeed, then you’ve already won.

GINO BLEFARI is CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC. You can follow Gino on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

One response to Thursday Thoughts on Leadership: Win the Earnhardt Way

  1. John Filipovich

    Even more important is finishing the race of Life.. Keep trusting, always going forward with that inner strength that will help you and others to reach those goals.. As always Gino great read and I am so glad our path crossed in San Diego.. Take care 🙂


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