This was Marc Marquez last Friday 4 October 2019 ...
and below (scroll down) is Marc Marquez less than 48 hours later ...
So, what happened in between?
Two words: Learning Moments.
I rode over 2200km last week to Buriram, in the remote reaches of eastern Thailand, to watch the MotoGP for the first time. I was expecting to learn and write about speed as a competitive weapon in your business. Instead, I find myself writing about managing fear of failure.
This was triggered by the news of a horrific crash in training on Friday (just after the massive rains cleared up), as World Champion Marquez lost his handling on Turn 7. He somersaulted off the track and lay prone on all fours as the crowd anxiously held its breath.
He was later taken by ambulance to the local hospital for MRI scans.
Would he be OK? Would he be competing again for all the fans this weekend?
"When you crash at 350km/h you only think of standing up again," the 7-time world champion tells us. "No one likes to crash."
Saturday dawned, and Marquez was champing at the bit to get back on the bike, and clinch another pole position from the qualifying rounds that day.
It was great to see the blur of his orange-and-red bike and racing suit roaring down the straight past me at nearly 355km/h again. So, what was he thinking?
"The first rival is ourselves, there are no friends on the track, you must be selfish and have no limits."
But then: disaster again! He crashed out on Turn 5, sliding off the track on to the gravel. Would he be able to back-up after a second crash in only 2 days?
Sunday's MotoGP main event arrived and he rode what many considered to be the ride of his life, trailing in second for the most part before some sneaky, daring, and outrageous riding skills saw him take the chequered flag by just 0.171 of a second.
He became an 8-time world champion in the process.
So what can we learn as creative leaders about this remarkable performance?
I believe he learned where the edge of his best performance was. And that edge was in the micro-moments just before he lost control and crashed both times. He knew what he, his Honda, and his team were capable of. He knew the extreme he could push himself and his machine too. And in the race he did exactly that. To perfection.
Lesser people might have lost their nerve on the Friday, at the first crash. You know what it's like when a product launch doesn't go as planned? We get dispirited, right? Others might've given up after the second crash, thinking to themselves these are not the right market conditions for success. But he was learning, learning, learning.
Plus he had the balls to get back on the bike -- mentally and physically undaunted -- and apply those learnings for a determined and glorious win.
So, what are you afraid of today? What's holding you back from your best performance at work and in life? Go and find your edges. What does extreme marketing look like? What does extreme process speed look like? What does extreme hiring look like?
Now go and perform to just within those limits. Good luck, and we'll see you on the winner's podium.
. Question Everything! Stu
About the Author
International Trainer, Speaker, Coach and Consultant
Stu is a professional storyteller for 30 years. He was a creative director in Ad agencies, author of 7 books, journalist, travel writer/blogger, specialist military history tour guide, TEDx MC/Speaker coach, trainer for Fortune 500s and entrepreneur.