If you know me, or you have been reading some of my previous blogs, you know I have a passion for cycling. But unlike most youths, I found cycling later in life. During college, I was injured and wanted to keep active, so I was told to ride a bike to keep moving. That encouragement led to me join the school's triathlon team and discover my love of cycling. Cycling has provided me so much more than just riding a bike as I have met people from all walks of life, traveled to different events and seen some beautiful country going out for rides. Even more than that though, my passion for cycling has opened my eyes to what passion can do for you in business.
The Tour of California (the West Coast's version of the Tour de France) took place this last week and was met with a very exciting finish in a place that I used to train daily, Pasadena, California. The race took place over more than 700 miles and spanned 8 days of racing, but in the end, the final win came down to a few millimeters, the closest margin in the history of the 10-year-old race.
The winner was Peter Sagan from Tinkoff-Saxo’s team, whose lunge to the finish put his tire over the line just before his rival's. I would love to talk about the competition in more detail, but since I am not a sports reporter, please visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com for the details of the amazing race. While you may not be into cycling, the determination and competitiveness shown in this race is much like what we do at work in our daily lives.
The clients and prospects that I meet on a weekly basis have a true passion for their line of manufacturing and are always striving to be better. Whether they are contract manufactures or have proprietary products, the ones that are successful have a true passion for their process and love to work hard at making improvements.There seems to be an unspoken group of people involved in different types of manufacturing that have a tenacity to improve products, regardless of the recognition. The same dedication can be found in cycling, as it certainly has grown in popularity, but is not a mainstream sport in the United States, so only those involved seem to truly appreciate the effort and results. Cyclists put their whole heart, not just into fitness, but also into technology, to try to become the best possible.
Another aspect of cycling I really like is the fact that while cyclists are not that famous, they put forth the effort every race because they have not lost their passion on doing just a job. The activity is not like professional baseball, basketball or other mainstream sports where people complain that the players are just entertainers getting paid. While I personally love sports and can still appreciate pro sports of any kind, there is no mistaking a person who has passion versus someone playing for a paycheck.
The same comparison can be seen at work: Some companies just dial it in, while other companies are truly striving to make a better product and push the envelope to be the best in their given industry. Do you push yourself to be the best at whatever position you hold today? Do you work to make the best or do you work just to get paid? There is no denying the need to make money and be profitable, but that usually follows with great execution of your passion.
Personally, I love to learn about other companies and what they produce and how they manufacture. It is amazing to watch how people make things from parts for a jet engine to plastic tubes to glass vials and see the detail of a well-made product. IQMS loves to work with companies that are growing and looking for the right tools to fit their passions. Are you looking to be the best in your field? Do you need the right tools in your manufacturing company to keep growing and creating better parts? Peter Sagan is a great cyclist but he did not do it alone - Cycling is a team sport that constantly uses the best technology available because it can make the difference between first and second place by a few millimeters!
I hold my passions very dear to me and push to enjoy them as much as I possibly can. I hope that you do the same at your passion as I have seen so many great things come from passion and true dedication!
"There is no greatness without a passion to be great, whether it's the aspiration of an athlete or an artist, a scientist, a parent or a businessperson."