Jennifer Jo Cobb
dream to work for a race team. I told him that I don’t fire people based on mistakes (unless they continue to happen) but that I thought he was a good fit because he has a desire to learn and a good attitude. I also took responsibility for not training him properly and told him once he is trained, any mistakes would come out of his paycheck. I told the hauler repair company that wanted to charge me more than $6,000 to fix this issue that I was going to come visit their shop so they could show me exactly what my issues were. Once I arrived, they were quite surprised to find me truly wanting to see and understand DO YOU TAKE VENDORS AT THEIR WORD?
to question these things, so the vendor gets away with it. But not with me. I simply can’t afford it.
INCORPORATING DTA INTO YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE: Even though I don’t trust people, I still love people. I have just learned to assess every situation and think of the worst possible outcome and then do everything I can to prevent that from happening. When it comes to handing over the responsibility in your company, assume the worst is going to happen and then, to the best of your ability, ensure it doesn’t. • Get as much in writing as possi- ble (text and email count) • Be careful what you say. I’ve been burned by venting and then having that gab session passed along in an unflattering manner Learn to see these mistakes as lessons designed to prevent you from making bigger, more costly mistakes. When I am buckled into my race truck, helmet on, adrenaline pumping, foot on the accelerator, ready to pull out onto the track, I radio the team and ask the most basic questions: are the wheels tight? Do you have a visual on all of the hood pins so it doesn’t fly up into the windshield? Have you filled this with fuel? Are we ready? Ok…let’s roll. • • Educate by giving clear and con- cise instructions
the damage. I crawled under the semi-truck and asked what I was being charged over $300 for on the U-bolt underneath. He pointed out that four bolts were missing and therefore it was loose. “So, can you just sell me four bolts?” I asked. “Sure,” he said, “but they should have a special liquid on them called ‘Loc-Tite.’” So in actuality, we could have only $25 invested in this. I decided to pull my hauler out of that place and save myself the $275 labor they were going to charge me to screw in four bolts. This vendor does a lot of work for the big teams. They likely have too much money and not enough time
his co-driver unloaded the equipment incorrectly and a vendor wanted to charge me more than $6,000 to fix it. Now let’s pause and dissect this: DID I GIVE CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS? No, I didn’t. Nobody taught him how to properly secure the trucks. We assumed he knew. He did his best. Was someone more experienced present to supervise the lift gate situation? No, we were all busy elsewhere. Shame on us. I called him and told him exactly what the mistakes cost the team. Of course, he felt bad and he said it was always his
Jennifer Jo Cobb is a public speaker, corporate spokesperson and a NASCAR team owner and driver. She is the founder of Driven2Honor (www.Driven2Honor.org), a non-profit to recognize the efforts and plights of our female military members. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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