On Drive

Drive: I suppose I could call it motivation, but the word isn’t fast enough or strong enough. I’m a NASCAR enthusiast, so I suppose I have a predisposition to the term Drive. I’m not sure it can be taught. I’m more prone to believe it’s an inherent character trait.

To possess Drive is not to be “Driven”. Driven implies passiveness. To me, Driven seems a temporary state. Anyone can be Driven by a particular obsession or toward a specific goal. But does that intensity linger once the objective is accomplished?

Drive, on the other hand, is comprised of many components: perseverance, resilience, optimism, confidence and consideration. Yes, consideration. Drive doesn’t mean controlling. Nor does it suggest dismissiveness, ruthlessness or absolute power. It does, however, empower others, as does it encourage, engage and enlighten.

To me, Drive is most essentially about the journey. Naturally, reaching one’s destination, whether personal or professional, is essential but the ability to successfully steer a powerful vehicle to navigate life’s most challenging courses is what ultimately gets one to that destination.

Like all CEO’s, I face my share of challenges every day. Sometimes, I feel I encounter a challenge every minute of every day. Yet, when every fire is out…when everything is handled…I hear this voice inside my head like Jake LaMotta to Sugar Ray Robinson: “Hey, Ray, I never went down, man! You never got me down, Ray! You hear me, you never got me down.” Then comes that feeling of accomplishment…not to be confused with egomania. Rather, I think of those moments as pit stops…opportunities to refuel, recharge, regroup and get ready to get back on the course.

Drive is nourished by adversity; strengthened by every impediment we overcome. Yet, Drive has its downside. Possessing Drive should NEVER make one feel invincible. Competent, confident, and resilient, yes…but never invincible. It’s also essential never to confuse Drive with knowledge. In my opinion, Drive includes forever seeking knowledge. Actually, I find it a common symptom of the condition. There is always something to be learned and very often from the least likely sources. Whether it’s knowledge about your industry, politics, human behavior…even yourself, Drive demands you learn more.

So why my thoughts on Drive? Perhaps because I’ve come to the realization that Drive need not be indicative of a Type A personality. It can be quiet and unpretentious. My Drive has provided me with a better understanding of the human spirit. Again, I find it a symptom of the condition. Drive represents equal opportunity awareness. Know all there is to know about all there is to know. Drive symbolizes a life long journey of learning and the practice of applying what we’ve learned to every situation during every day of our lives.

So the next time you or someone else uses the term Drive in describing someone, try to remember: It’s not just about success in business…it’s about driving through life and navigating a successful journey without losing your moral compass.