The Leadership Adjustment: Are You Listening?

Growing up I always wanted to be an Indy Car Racer. We had a neighbor across the street who raced the legendary brick yard. I would watch in curiosity as he would work late into the night with his garage open and lit, making fine adjustments to his car. Adjustments.

Recently I listened intently to Jimmy Johnson, a NASCAR 6-time champion, give an interview. He is at the top of his sport. A very smart, gifted, humble, and competitive guy. He was asked to provide a hint into why he has that competitive advantage... to win... to be a champion. Along with giving his team the lions share of the credit and his world-class sponsors, he shared something subtle that jumped out to me. 

Jimmy said, "One thing I try to do well at is when I'm going very fast, over 180 MPH, I try to listen to the car. I listen well. And then I radio back to my pit crew to make small, fine adjustments." Adjustments. Those small adjustments often mean a tenth of a second. The difference between 1st or 2nd place. Jimmy also said he does "a good job of listening to his inner voice". Perhaps something he needs to do for his wife or a teammate. 

Sometimes our biggest breakthroughs come from the smallest adjustments.

A Big Question involving something smallWhat adjustment can you make that will help you in your competitive advantage?

Here is a potential small list to help you listen and adjust in your personal and professional life: 

  • What one small adjustment can I make in the quality of my marriage?
  • What can I offer to my children, that may seem small, but would encourage them?
  • How can I lift someone up on my team that needs an emotional boost?
  • What is one small adjustment I can make to my health, one investment or one elimination?
  • What subtle self-discipline do I need to sharpen that will drive better results?
  • What phrase can I eliminate this week? (for example, "if only")
  • What prayer can I pray that could impact someone I care about?

Sometimes our biggest breakthroughs come from the smallest adjustments, if we are willing to listen and respond.

I encourage you to jot down just 2 or 3 small adjustments you sense will add to the quality of your life and leadership

Here's to Building Better Leaders!

-Steve Gutzler

For information on keynote presentations, team workshops, and one on one coaching, contact Steve's team at: or call: (425) 681-9871.

The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. 

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Steve Gutzler and Leadership Quest, All rights reserved.

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