Teamwork makes a difference

Jacqueline Lockie CFP™ Chartered FCSI, CISI head of financial planning, was inspired by how the Mercedes F1 team worked together at the Hungarian Grand Prix


I confess to not being a terribly enthusiastic follower of Formula 1 but my husband and son love it. So, we all sat down to watch the Hungarian Grand Prix, the last race before the summer F1 break, and while it was quite an exciting race, it highlighted some valuable lessons around teamwork for me.

Let me set the scene … Max Verstappen was in the lead and Lewis Hamilton in second place looking at Max’s gear box, driving in disrupted ‘dirty’ air while trying desperately to get past him.

My family tell me that overtaking at that circuit is extremely difficult. Apparently it’s like Monaco but without buildings! Lewis was contemplating running the final 30 or so laps behind Max. Meanwhile, in the pit lane, Max’s team were monitoring the car and trying to ensure he stayed in front, while Lewis’s team, Mercedes, was trying to plan a route past!

Here’s what Mercedes worked out. If it brought Lewis in 20 laps from the end and put him on a fresh set of tyres, he would have to make up one second a lap and then have a chance of passing Max on the final lap, assuming all went well. The plan required real teamwork, someone with the vision, the certainty of the calculations, trust that the pit crew could deliver a fast tyre change in the time window allocated, that Lewis would stop in the correct place in his box and that he would make up at least one second per lap, so that in 19 laps time, he would have fresher tyres than Max and try an overtaking manoeuvre.

Planning this needs trust in all members of the team at every level, as well as excellent communication to articulate exactly what needs to happen and when. Making and executing all those decisions at the right time and in the correct order is no mean feat. When this chain of events unfolded, every person played their part and trusted their teammates 100%. And, of course, Lewis being Lewis, he made up two seconds on one lap which meant that he could pass Max with relative ease three laps from the end. It made for exciting watching.

Your team

So, thinking this through, does the team you work in operate with such precision and level of trust? Do you play your part as fully as possible in your team and company’s successes? As many of us have been on holiday, like the F1 teams, now would be a good time to think about how you conduct yourself and the impact you have on your teammates around you as well as the company you work within.

In our profession, change is an everyday occurrence, but you have a choice how you respond to it. Choose to be positive and help embed it, choose to see it as an opportunity which can be maximised for the benefit of clients, the business and ultimately your professional success. Use change to bring your team together to work more cohesively and commit collectively to share the company’s vision and help others around you.

Remember that diversity brings strength with different viewpoints and opinions that should all be considered – no one has the monopoly on the right answers.

Team me

Perhaps, most importantly, see if you can strive to apply these ideas in your personal life too by committing to specific ways that you can obtain a better work/life balance. Don’t forget about ‘Team Me’ – your own mental and physical wellbeing. Team Me isn’t about being selfish, it is about getting the best out of yourself. That might mean getting some alone time, eating a little more healthily, exercising a little more, spending more quality time with your family and friends; above all, celebrating life and your own personal worth. Every person counts.

This article was originally published in Professional Paraplanner. Republished with permission.
Published: 30 Aug 2019
  • Soft Skills
  • Financial Planning
  • trust
  • teamwork
  • team
  • Lewis Hamilton
  • Mercedes
  • Hungarian Grand Prix
  • Professional Paraplanner

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