PROF. MARK JENKINS

EP 006 / 14.04.2021

THE BUSINESS 

LESSONS OF F1

The world’s first ever Formula 1 Professor, Mark Jenkins joins Mission Makers this week. The renowned management strategist, author and keynote speaker shares the lessons he has learnt from a career spent analysing the high-performance world of Formula 1 at Cranfield University and goes on to explain why other companies would do well to adopt some of the same approaches. Mark also goes on to reveal his personal philosophy for life and what he plans to do in his retirement.  

 

Mark begins with a joke, “If you want to make god laugh, tell him your plans,” he says. This statement, as we would go on to find out during the course of the interview, is however much more than just a joke. It is more broadly speaking a small example of Mark’s attitude to life in which change is constantly being embraced.  

 

Such an outlook should not come as much of a surprise, after all the years spent studying the business culture of Formula 1, Mark was bound to adopt much of the same mentality found in the operational structures of motorsports premier championship. One of the most recurrent themes in his research has unsurprisingly been the need to constantly stay ahead of the curve in order to succeed, “Formula 1 has always been innovation and imitation,” he says. Not that everyone subscribes to this, which as Mark goes on to explain is why sometimes “things only change drastically when things go really badly.” 

 

As Mark goes on to point out though, a flexible approach and a willingness to embrace change are not the only keys to succeeding, whether that be in business or in life. “You need the right culture because you won't learn if the culture isn't supportive of learning,” and he goes on to add that, “learning doesn't work in isolation.” 

 

It is on that theme of learning that we conclude the interview because despite recently retiring, Mark is not looking to dwell on the past, Instead choosing to look ahead  to what the future will bring with plenty more learning abound, and he concludes with an inspiring dose of Carpe Diem by sharing with us that “winning for me is getting up.” 

 

Mark's full episode can be found on the video below and on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

 

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Lessons To Fuel Your Mission
  • F1 is a delicate balance of imitation and innovation

  • Leaders that can manage change well are much better positioned to survive 

  •  A growth mindset is critical because life never stops teaching us lessons

  • :et go of the rear view mirror in order to keep a laser focus on the present and future

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