What can NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s tragic death teach us about emotions and mindset??
Actually, a lot!
His death cast a global spotlight on safety in NASCAR. Media outlets were camped outside Dale Earnhardt Inc., as well as NASCAR’s Daytona headquarters interviewing heartbroken fans and asking the question, “has NASCAR done enough to keep their drivers safe?”
The late Bill France, Jr., was running NASCAR when this happened and he lost his close friend. It was a difficult time for members of the NASCAR industry as well as for the millions of fans who loyally followed the sport – and The Intimidator – Dale Earnhardt!
NASCAR hired Jody Powell, a Washington heavy weight who was well-equipped to handle crisis situations. You see, Jody served as President Jimmy Carter’s Press Secretary.
Jody told me the story of a meeting he attended at senior-level meeting at NASCAR headquarters in the wake of Earnhardt’s death. He told me how Mr. France was, rightfully so, very angry with how the media was portraying the sport – his sport (as Bill’s father, Bill France, started NASCAR in 1948).
While being extremely angry (and voicing it clearly, as Jody recounted), Jody mentioned that none of the people in the room were making eye contact with Mr. France. It was a very tense situation, for sure.
When Mr. France paused for a moment, Jody stepped in with a simple, yet powerful, statement – “Mr. France, with all due respect, being pissed off is not a strategy.”
At that moment, Mr. France acknowledged that to be true and then looked to Jody and said, “you are right. So, what are we going to do about this?”
How can we use the phrase, “being pissed off isn’t a strategy.” help us embrace emotion, yet still move towards action?
We are experiencing a wide range of emotions these days, but we have to determine whether those emotions are moving us forward or holding us back!
How we deal with our emotions and put them on display for others to see and experience also impacts our reputation. Make no mistake about that. Our consistent, daily actions influence how people see us and how they form an opinion of you and your reputation.
Watch my video HERE to hear more about how emotions can keep us out of the race!