WHAT DRIVES HIM?
HOW RACECAR DRIVING PREPARED ROBERT TALBOTT CEO BOB CORLISS
FOR BUSINESS, AND FOR LIFE. BY DAVID A. ROSE
How did you first get into racecar driving?
My parents were enthusiastic racing fans and would drag me to various motorsports events. When we didn’t go to an event we’d watch it on television; it was part of growing up in Europe. Because so few roads in Europe had speed limits, I was never intimidated by speed. I always seemed to live close to a race circuit and I loved waking up to the distant sound of race engines. I’d drive out to the circuit to see what was going on and would always meet really cool people. One day I was looking to buy a trailer to transport my car, but when I found the ideal trailer, it happened to have a Formula Continental racecar on it. The owner told me he’d sell me the trailer but I’d have to take the racecar with it...
And the rest was history. How did racecar driving prepare you to run an apparel company?
There are numerous aspects of racing that can be directly applied to business. Anything that tunes your mind, your body, or your spirit will help you focus and prepare, whether for racing or for design- ing/marketing/selling a clothing collection. Racing keeps you sharp by making you aware of your competition, thereby helping you adapt quickly to unexpected situations. Flexibility, focus, drive: all are attributes of success. Another is persistence. It’s easy to get discouraged in motor racing; things go wrong mechanically, or you make a mistake and crash, or somebody else makes a mistake and runs you off the track. It‘s easy to say “I’ve had enough.” There are many parallels in life: if you break it all down and understand the emotions that motivate you, you can persevere in other situations. It’s a constant learning experience that makes you a better business manager.
Anybody who’s been around racing knows it’s the support team that’s most critical to success. The car must be mechanically sound so the driver feels safe in it; the communication from driver to crew must be perfectly clear in order to optimize the effort. If you trust the racecar and have figured out all the variables, the car will do exactly what you ask it to do. But if you ask it to do 1/10th more, the consequences are pretty severe.
Similarly, anybody in management knows that the leader is only as good as the least experienced person in the company. The employees have trust in you and you have trust in them; you try to lead from the front. If you inspire them and clearly communicate how their roles fit into the overall vision of the company, if you provide them with an avenue for both personal and professional growth, then you’re likely to achieve your goals.
When people attend a race, they often want to go to the pits to see how things work; afterwards they realize that it’s one thing to sit in the stands and feel the excitement but the real drama happens with the preparation of the car. Every team member must do their job perfectly before the driver climbs into the cockpit. And it’s the same in business: every person must perform exceptionally in order for the company to win.
Porsche Rennsport Reunion V 2015
at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Robert Talbott Motorsports will be participating in the prestigious Porsche Rennsport Reunion V at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 25th, 26th, and 27th, 2015. The car is a 2005 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car and will be piloted by Bob Corliss. He will be racing for the Stuttgart Cup and joined by 30 plus other accomplished drivers from around the world. Included in the field will be some of the most famous Porsche Racecars, including the RS Spyder.
“This is definitely a bucket list event and I am both honored and grateful to be part of this high profile global racing experience. Naturally I am filled with anxious anticipation and cannot wait to get started.”
This is a one time event for Robert Talbott Motorsports and will be followed on October 16th, 17th, and 18th, 2015, with the season ending Championship Formula Atlantic Race at Pittsburgh International Raceway.
For more information please visit http://porscherennsportreunion.com
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