Sense of Urgency


NASCAR = Non-athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks. Ooh, fighting words.

What’s the best advice a NASCAR driver ever received? “Turn left.” Again, oooh.

Just kidding.

I like to watch a close race, but I really enjoy observing a pit crew at work. Before their car skids to a stop in front of them, they’re on the move. Change four tires, fill the tank and clean the windows in mere seconds. A true example of teamwork honed to perfection. Poetry in motion. When the cars on the track average 150MPH, (2.5miles/min, 13,200ft/min, 220ft/sec,) the pit crew can be the difference between winning or losing.

A drilling rig works the same way. Time is money. But instead of stressing the time and money, we aim for efficiency. Plan our business ahead of time, give the team the tools to do the job, and let them do it.

There’s a sign on the wall down the hall from my office. “Work at the speed of the slowest team member.” What? So it’s okay for one man to drag down ten? There is 140 of us out here right now. No! Drives me nuts. Get a faster guy!

IMG_0081A young boy bursts through the front door, into the living room and heads down the hall. He’s jerking at his belt with one hand, trying to get it undone, and unbuttoning his pants with the other. Mom’s questions about his destination and intentions bounce off of him like bullets off of Superman. He’s focused. He has a place to go and a goal to meet, and his sense of urgency is obvious. Put 20 years, coveralls and drill pipe dope on this boy and that’s what we like to see in a roughneck.