Blame Doesn’t Put Profits to the Bottom Line

I’ve run businesses for the legendary Jack Roush for about eight years. I worked for him another eight years prior to that.

People often ask me, “What’s it like to work for a man like Jack?”

Jack wins championships on Sunday, leads one of the premier engineering companies in the automotive world, owns four other companies that bear his name, and has a brand reputation with his Mustangs that equals performance excellence.

Here’s what I tell people, “Jack puts his pants on one leg at a time just like you. The only difference is, once he gets his pants on, he searches for problems and fixes them to avoid being a victim of dysfunction.”

Problems are always going to exist, and Jack’s philosophy is to identify them in enough time to correct them before they victimize you. In the competitive world of ROUSH, if you refuse to search for problems and solve them, you are allowing those setbacks to dictate your level of success (or lack thereof).

Here’s an example:

If “Joe” forgot to check the pressure on a set of tires that Goodyear supplies for a race, we put flat tires on a racecar, and we don’t win the race.

We know that it was Joe’s fault, but knowing whose fault it was didn’t win the race — and it certainly won’t win championships.

At ROUSH, our business is the same way. Knowing who to blame doesn’t put profits on the bottom line. Instead, we work together to identify and resolve failure modes before they have a chance to affect us on the track — or in the boardroom. We call it the discipline that creates a championship team, not a team of champions.

Think about your business. What are you about to be a victim of (besides my poor grammar in that question)? Consider the rising costs of:

  • Maintenance.
  • Wages.
  • Paper.
  • Paper clips.
  • Fuel.

Performing at a championship level requires that you understand your challenges, prioritize them by which is the most impactful (sorry, an easy victory from decreasing the cost of your paper clips doesn’t count), then creating an action plan. My guess is that if you have solutions for maintenance and fuel costs, then you are taking control of your future and doing what it takes to win.

Here’s what Jack Roush has taught me about winning: If you are paying attention to just the paper clips, ignoring your problems all together, or focusing on “who’s to blame,” you may as well get ready to lose.

Take control of your rising fuel costs today.

Do your research (and yes, reading my earlier blogs counts as research). Convert to a domestic energy source.  Win championships.

Now you know a little more about what it’s like to work for Jack, and what Jack would do.

 

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