Click on image above to watch video blog.
I’ve read the book Seabiscuit and watched the movie Secretariat. Neither one of those things really puts me in a position to comment on horse racing. However, I was intrigued by the media hype around the possibility of a potential Triple Crown winner, a feat that had not been accomplished in 37 years. I watched the Belmont Stakes, along with thousands of other people, and cheered on the winner, American Pharoah.
The interviews after the victory provided some great lessons. The first came from listening to media interviews from the owner, trainer and jockey. All three parties seemed reluctant to take any credit for winning the Triple Crown. However, they were all consistent in giving one entity the credit: the horse, American Pharoah.
Lesson: Give credit where credit is due. The horse certainly couldn’t speak up, however, his entourage did so on his behalf.
I love hearing the “back story” on all the people involved in these types of events. For example, I learned that Bob Baffert, the trainer of American Pharoah, is the second oldest trainer to win a Triple Crown at the age of 62.
Lesson: You are never too old to show up, try and win. Age doesn’t determine your ability to participate at intense, high levels.
The jockey, Victor Espinoza also has a wonderful story. The eleventh of twelve children, Victor grew up in Mexico herding goats, not riding horses. He eventually moved to San Francisco with his brother and was overwhelmed trying to adapt to a new environment. He adapted and went on to become a great jockey.
Lesson: It’s not where you come from. It’s where you end up.
A final lesson is that of generosity. Victor Espinoza has always donated a portion of his winnings to the City of Hope, a California based cancer research and treatment center. Winning the Belmont Stakes is no different. He donated his entire winnings to the City of Hope.
Learn and apply the lessons from the Triple Crown. Look around your office and give credit to peers and colleagues that deserve recognition for your success or the company’s success. Quit using age as an excuse for not showing up and competing at a high level. And stop worrying about where you came from. Get busy creating a new and better ending to your personal and professional life.