Ron Denis, the boss of the formula 1 McLaren team described Lewis Hamilton, the 22 year old racing driver, as “A strategist with the guts to take risks”. He went on to say “Confidence is often coupled with arrogance, but there isn’t an ounce of arrogance in Lewis”. When you consider these words, the synergy with business acumen becomes crystal clear. But the real story for me is the amazing truth that in his first year of F1 racing, Lewis Hamilton very nearly won the world title. Now, in his second season, he is currently standing in third place with his old team mate Alonso way down at number 9.
I have been told that Lewis is of the first generation drivers brought up with race simulators, and although I can believe that these machines must have helped him, it surely must be his experience in Karting (since a boy of 11) that perfected his craft, or am I wrong?
The question, for me is: can we apply the same techniques in business? Perhaps we could persuade Unilever or Sir Richard Branson, or even Sir Alan Sugar to put together a consortium of investors to finance the building of a business simulator, where young aspiring eleven year olds can sit for hours everyday, perfecting the craft of business plan creation,, market positioning, deal negotiation and sales techniques. In fact all the facets that brilliant CEO’s need but take years of experience to acquire? Such a machine would eliminate the loss of real cash by blistering mistakes. Thinking about it, on a slightly more mundane level, perhaps we could even have a simulator for Project Managers, possibly sponsored by Cap Gemini and Accenture?
The day of the simulator is here, it must only be a matter of time before we see MBA students sitting in them, desperately trying to obtain years of experience within a summer semester.